Carrots – the future’s orange

Last time around I was bemoaning the fact that it’s always national this type of food week or day. Of course they’re not all bad…(well, it is my blog and I can change my mind whenever I like. So there).

fresh carrots

Today is National Carrot Day. Yes, I know it sounds a bit daft but I really do think that the humble carrot is much undervalued, underused and underloved. In the depths of a very cold winter (like this one) they can be used in so many warming ways. Yet in the summer, I love to eat them fresh from the ground when they’re just a few inches long. And hasn’t every weaning baby made a terrible mess of carrot mash?

chantenay carrots

Carrots are just so versatile – they’re easy to store, require no great preparation, can be roasted, pureed, sliced, grated, whizzed into soup, tossed into a salad, used in muffins and even fed to the rabbit! What’s more, they’re cheap and plentiful, self-contained and portable.

carrot & coriander soup

From a professional perspective, carrots helped to fire my enthusiasm for food photography. I’ve always been fascinated by their form and structure, the way that mud clings to the skin and the stark contrast between fresh green stalks and bright orange flesh. In short, carrots make for excellent photographic models.

stylised carrots

Early in the season it’s great to capture the straight rows of densely packed seedlings as they fight for light and water. Once dug up, they shoot well in big bunches whilst still on the fork.

freshly dug carrots

And cooked with, the colour never fails to liven up what might otherwise be a fairly dull plate. In food photography, contrast can be your greatest friend.

layered potato and carrot

Yep, whatever the time of year, carrots never disappoint. The future’s bright if the future’s orange.

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