Some Facts About Carrots in France
- Grown mainly in Brittany, lower Normandy and l’Aquitaine,
- Carrots contain up to 85% water, and are one of the sweetest vegetables;
- Many carrots are grown in sand (carottes sables) with quality varieties such as the Carotte de Créances (AOC) and Carotte de Landes. Don’t be put off by their appearance. Just washq off the sand, peel and discover their flavour of both sweet and slightly salty;
- For more information, check out the Carrot Museum for tons of crunchy facts, including their history and health benefits.
Best Way to Cook Carrots
According to chef Auguste Escoffier in his Guide to Modern Cookery (1903), “Whatever be the ultimate purpose for which carrots are intended, they should be prepared in this way” (also for turnips or navets) – as Glazed Carrots (2059 – carottes glacées pour garnitures).
He instructs that: “New carrots are not parboiled ; they are turned, whole, halved or quartered, according to their size.
Put the carrots in a saucepan with enough water to cover them well with 1/2oz of salt, 1oz sugar and 2oz of butter per pint of water. Cook until the water has almost entirely evaporated, so that the reduction may have the consistence of a syrup. Sauté the carrots in this reduction, that they may be covered with a brilliant coat“.
Fun French Expression With Carrots
“Les carottes sont cuites”
Familiar expression from the 19th Century meaning “That’s the end of that” or “It’s finished” (literally translated as the carrots are cooked). Often heard by French commentators during football and rugby matches (believe me, Antoine loves watching so I hear this a lot!).
All year round, thanks to 3 categories:
- New carrots: May – July;
- Seasonal carrots: July – October;
- Regular carrots for storing: October – March.