Late last winter on a Saturday morning I was going through my morning ritual which basically consist of drinking coffee, thumbing through seed catalogs and watching numerous gardening shows on PBS. The Victory Garden was on and one of the members of the cast was interviewing a chef from NYC. She walked over to a tray and removed a glass lid to expose multi-colored carrots individually set on the platter as if they were crown jewels. She then went into a long explanation of how expensive the particular carrots were and how they were the rage in the gourmet restaurants. At that point I began thumbing through my Seed Savers Exchange seed catalog and found the purple carrot known as the Dragon Carrot. The entire packet of carrot seed was cheaper than the individual carrots on the show and I thought that it was slightly humorous and kind of sad that people think something anyone can grow in their own back lawn is "exotic".
They really are an interesting carrot in appearance. The outside is a dark purple and just below the skin the root veggie is a dark orange. It has a flavor that I would describe as almost spicy, if anything, there is certainly a bit of zing raw and they go great in a stir fry.
Our garden helps tremendously on our grocery bill and the majority of what we grow goes straight to our table. When things are tight items like carrots and potatoes are harvested a bit early and this year was no exception. Early today though my son and I were out harvesting some hot peppers and sunflowers and we noticed a couple of sprouts in the old carrot patch and decided to push the dirt around with the shovel and see what we could find. We were pleasantly surprised to find some nice, mature carrots.
Carrots are a good source of fiber and potassium as well as a good source of Vitamin A which helps with night vision. Carrots help with diarrhea in children and adults and are believed to help fight certain types of cancers, such as lung cancer. Dragon carrots in particular are very high in antioxidants and vitamins.