International Carrot Day Date in the current year: April 4, 2022

International Carrot Day International Carrot Day is observed annually on April 4. This unofficial holiday celebrates one of the most widespread and healthy root vegetables used to prepare a wide variety of dishes, from salads to desserts.

Domesticated carrots are cultivars of the wild carrot, native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia. The domestic carrot is believed to have originated in Persia (the territories of present-day Iran and Afghanistan). Carrots were originally grown for their leaves and seeds, similarly to their close relatives, such as anise, coriander (cilantro), cumin, dill, fennel, and parsley. The first mention of the carrot as a root vegetable dates back to the 1st century AD.

The plant was introduced to Europe during the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. Interestingly, back then carrots were mostly purple because of their high anthocyanin content. Red and yellow carrots were first mentioned around the 11th century, but modern orange carrots are believed to have been created by Dutch farmers in the 17th century.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), carrots are in the top ten of the most important vegetable crops in the world. In 2018, the combined world production of carrots and turnips was 40 million tonnes. The world’s largest producer of carrots is China. Other major producers are Uzbekistan, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

The carrot is so widespread and important for food security that it even has its own holiday, albeit unofficial. The inaugural International Carrot Day was observed in 2003, but it is unclear who is organizers were. According to the official website, the 2012 celebration was held in Australia, France, Italy, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Carrots are a valuable source of beta-carotene (provitamin A); a 100 g serving of carrots provides more than 100% of the Daily Value of vitamin A. Carrots are also a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin K. They also contain modest quantities of other nutrients, such as other B vitamins, vitamins C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Carrots can be eaten both raw and cooked. They are widely used in many cuisines to prepare a variety of dishes, including salads, stews, soups and broths, and even sweet dishes, such as cakes, pies, puddings, jams, and various desserts (for example, Turkish cezerye). Carrots can be pureed and used as baby food, thinly sliced and dehydrated or deep-fried to make chips, and used to make juice or smoothies. Baby carrots are a popular snack food promoted as a healthy alternative to junk food.

The best way to celebrate International Carrot Day is to throw a carrot-themed party. Invite your friends, ask them to wear something orange, and treat them to baby carrots with hummus, carrot cake, and carrot juice or smoothies. If you cannot throw a party, you can simply incorporate carrots into your lunch or dinner to show your respect for the vegetable.

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International Observances, Unofficial Holidays

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International Carrot Day, international observances, unofficial holidays, food days, carrots