It’s one of the most basic skills we teach children. “What color is a carrot?” we ask. “Orange!” they reply, triumphantly. But if you had asked a child that same question a thousand years ago in Spain, the answer was more likely to be “Purple!” In fact, orange carrots were unknown until the late 1400s, when they appeared in Amsterdam and began to spread throughout Europe. Somewhere along the way, orange became the accepted color for carrots, and most people today don’t even realize other colors are a possibility.
This year, why not add some unusual color to your vegetable garden, with purple carrots, blue potatoes, or white eggplant? Some varieties are heirloom and have been around for centuries or longer; others are a result of new hybridization in recent years. The varieties shown below are available from popular seed catalogs as indicated.
Have you ever tried any vegetables of unusual color? Tell us your favorites in the comments below!