The carrot is a root vegetable that is an excellent source of beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body), potassium and vitamins K, B1, B2 and B6. Thought to have originated in Afghanistan, although may have cme down the Silk Road from China. The vegetable has a number of varieties including orange, purple and white. Interestingly, the orange variety that we know and assume as the predominant carrot today is actually late to the party, being developed by Dutch merchants as a 17th century branding exercise .
As an ingredient, they are quite versatile; their sweetness means they can be used in desserts, but they are also used in salads and as an accompaniment in meat dishes. They can be eaten raw or can be boiled, steamed or roasted as well.