Carrots are often eaten raw, whole or shaved into salads for color, and are often cooked in soups and stews. One can also make carrot cake. The greens are not generally eaten in most cultures, but are edible.
Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths. Beta carotene or Vitamin A, which gives this vegetable its characteristic orange colour, is thought to enhance the performance of receptors on the retina and thus improve eyesight. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals and are an alkaline food.
Carrots originally came in purple, white and yellow colours. The now synonymous orange carrot was developed in Holland as a tribute to William I of Orange during the Dutch fight for independence from Spain in the 16th century. The orange carrot, not only had a better taste but also had beta carotene making it healthier, and so all other carrots stopped being planted.
The world's largest carrot is located in Okahune , New Zealand.