carrots: how to choose

Monday, March 8, 2010

i'm backkk... (imitating oprah) =D

firstly i'd like to apologize to my fellow followers/readers on me not updating my blog. as you know i take pictures with my camera phone, and by now i have one too many food pictures that i'd like to share with you all but yet again i'm having problem transferring the pictures. i have the usb cables and everything only that my husband's laptop did not accept my transfer and i've tried so many times on configuring the laptop but still failed (argh...roll eyes)

but i've manage to borrow a camera from my parents and will see from there (which also means that i have to start cooking and baking all over again) so mean while, i'd like to entertain you with my tips and just a few things that i've learn over the years about choosing fresh ingredients accompany by pictures i've gathered from the net (don't worry i shall put the link on where i get the picture from) and some from my picture bank, and this time to subject of the matter is carrot! yes CARROT...

why carrot? its simply because its the most neglected vegetables from now on, no more taking this vegetable for granted ok? right...i say neglected because we always 'choose' our carrots simply by the fact that as long as it has no rotten parts and they'll make their way to our kitchen and most of us...well at least us Malaysian, we tend to choose a very huge and plump carrots that sometimes to me they can actually pass for cucumber if only they are green...(then again who could blame them, they usually only sell huge plump carrots)

the french, they basically hate unreasonably huge ingredients. because to them, the bigger the ingredients are the less taste it will have. And i find this especially true, i can't remember the countless times that we ordered something that is huge like huge garoupa fish for family dinner, huge squid for bbq etc and all of these was basically tasteless and rather chewy which was horrible and not to mention expensive. so from those unforgivable mistake for a foodie like me, i learn i'd rather order several fish or squid of what ever than having just one huge ingredients... with that, we tend to appreciate the food better

so the same principle applies to carrots. the bigger they are the lesser the taste will be and if you are unfortunate it'll be bitter if not any. i used to pick big carrots because...lets face it we think that its value for money. but we sacrifice the taste and probably the nutritional value as well in the process.

the french carrot: this is how carrot should be thin, slim and rather petite in size. this type of carrot is always sweet and have such great flavor. as the french chef say " this is how carrot should taste .."

just a comparison, find the regular large malaysian carrot, the slim petite carrot , taste it and you know that there are such a difference in the taste. the petite carrots tends to taste sweet and have that significant 'carrot' flavor rather than the larger carrots. with this type of carrots you'll make a very tasty stew or soup with its natural sweetness and all...this i assure you.

what about baby carrots? ones that are sold ready to eat carrot in a packet? ahhh~ that to me is the genius of marketing. most of them are just large/full grown carrots cut and made into 'baby' carrots and market it/ sell it as 'baby carrots' altho some of it maybe actually young carrots and probably taste just as sweet but generally to me nothing is better than the slim carrots.

why is the slim carrots are so tasty?? hmmm....why? well simply because it is not a mature carrots! its YOUNG carrots. Hans they are slim...(wink) so again this slim carrots are the sweetest of them all! and if you want a longer lasting carrots choose those that still have some green in it.

this is roughly how our carrots look like...but i think we all know that the carrots sold in our markets are a bit larger than this right? (pictures are just for viewing purpose only)

there are also some other pointers on what to avoid in choosing carrots (other than what i've been blabbering about):-
  1. blemishes or cracks (which most large full grown usually carrots have)
  2. flabby, rubbery or soft
  3. sunburn green at the top (this one always have a special appearance in the market so becareful)
  1. rather than anything else wrap carrots using bubble wrap the small kind of bubble wrap as this will ensure freshness and prevent it from being rotten
  2. never NEVER use plastic bag to store your carrots or other vegetables...for God sake! this will rote your vegetables in no time
it is best to consume your carrots within 1-2 weeks after purchasing it for the best nutritional and taste value.

p/s: this is just the general rule on how to pick a better tasting carrot.