Carrots have been a staple in many countries for thousands of years although it is only since the 16th century that they have been orange.
Earliest records show carrots were purple; later records show red, yellow and white carrots
Choose carrots that are firm, well formed, with a good orange colour. Smaller carrots tend to be sweeter and more tender. If spring carrots are sold with leaves attached, they should be fresh and bright green.
They can be eaten raw as snacks, or cooked and used in savoury and some sweet dishes, such as carrot cake or muffins. Carrots should be cooked until they are tender and depending on preference, still slightly crunchy. Cooked, tender carrots may be mashed or puréed.