The carrot plant is a member of the parsley family, characterized by light, feathery leaves. Other members of this family include fennel, dill, and celery. The edible root of the plant is usually orange and shaped like a long cylindrical cone. A fibrous channel or core runs the length of the vegetable; usually, the smaller the core, the younger and sweeter the vegetable.Many varieties of carrots are grown throughout the world. Colors range from
white to yellow to crimson. A carrot may be as short as 3 to 6 inches and as long as several feet. However, most carrots on the U.S. market today are orange and 7 to 9 inches long. Mini-peeled carrots are cut from the smaller, sweeter “caropak” carrots, which have been grown tightly together especially for this purpose. Despite packaging and labeling claims, mini-peeled carrots are not baby carrots. True baby carrots are carrots harvested earlier than usual and do, in fact, look like miniature
carrots. They are often sold with their green
tops still on them in specialty food stores.
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