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Chantenay carrots are small in size, averaging 10-12 centimeters in length and 5-6 centimeters in diameter, and have a thick, stout, and conical shape tapering to a blunt point on the non-stem end. The skin is smooth, firm, and bright orange, and underneath the surface, the flesh is a matching orange with a crisp and aqueous consistency. When raw, Chantenay carrots have a crunchy, snap-like quality with a sweet and earthy flavor. When cooked, the roots develop a soft and tender texture maintaining their earthy, sweet, notes.
Chantenay carrots are available in the summer through winter.
Chantenay carrots, botanically classified as Daucus carota subsp. Sativa, are thick and short, edible, underground roots that belong to the Apiaceae family along with parsnips, celery, and parsley. A Western heirloom variety, Chantenay carrots are a cool-weather crop that matures quickly and can survive in heavy soils. There are many different varieties encompassed under the Chantenay name with the two main types known as Royal Chantenay and Red Chantenay. The distinguishing feature between these two varieties is the color of the core and the bluntness of the tip. Despite their lack of popularity for many years, Chantenay carrots are increasing in recognition as the consumer market is shifting towards a resurgence in cultivating heirloom varieties.
Chantenay carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which can help prevent vision loss, vitamin C to protect the body from sickness, and fiber to assist with digestion. The roots also contain some vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, folate, and potassium.
Chantenay carrots are best suited for both raw and cooked applications including baking, boiling, steaming, and roasting. These small roots can be used in any recipe that calls for carrots and can also be canned, pickled, or juiced. When raw, Chantenay carrots can be shredded or chopped for green salads, grain bowls, and coleslaws, or dipped into hummus and served as an appetizer. When cooked, the roots can be shredded into green onion pancakes, sliced and roasted with other root vegetables, baked with fresh herbs, or stir-fried into rice and noodle dishes. Chantenay carrots pair well with peas, green beans, beets, shallots, chives, oranges, herbs and spices such as mint, coriander, and star anise, pomegranate seeds, pecans, and cheeses such as goat, feta, and ricotta. The roots will keep up to one month when stored loosely placed in a plastic bag with good air circulation in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Never store fruit along with carrots, as fruits expel ethylene gas that is readily absorbed by carrots. The carrots exposed to the ethylene gas will turn very bitter, making them not suitable for eating.
In the United States and the United Kingdom, Chantenay carrots were one of the most popular carrot varieties in the 1960s, but due to their difficult growing habits and an influx of other modern carrots, they quickly disappeared from the markets. Though Chantenay carrots are still challenging to find, there has been an increase in cultivation in the home gardening sector as gardeners are shifting towards growing heirloom varieties for interest and diversity. Chantenay carrots are popular with home gardeners because they can be planted in small spaces or containers, are disease and pest resistant, and produce a relatively high yield.
The Chantenay carrot is an heirloom variety that was developed during the 18th century in the Chanteney region of France. It was first introduced in the famous seed catalog of Vilmorin-Andrieus in the late 1800s. Today Chantenay carrots are available at farmers markets and specialty grocers in Europe, the United States, and select regions of Asia.
Recipes that include Chantenay Carrots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|James Beard Foundation||Chantenay Carrot Soup|
|Lavender and Lovage||Sticky Roast Chantenay Carrot Medley with Pomegranate Molasses|
|Women's Health||Carrot, Minted Chick Pea and Feta Salad|
|A Life of Geekery||Chantenay Carrots in a Creamy Dill Sauce|