This post has been in the works for quite awhile now. If you’ve already ordered carrot seed for your spring garden, don’t despair — these results are from our fall grown crop. Given our growing conditions, fall-sown carrots often do best here anyway, as the early heat of summer often limits the sweetness and growth of spring-sown carrots.
Carrot taste comparison (and far less rigorous growth comparison due to differential germination and thinning) – Grown Fall 2012, tasted January 2013, overwintered in low tunnels prior to harvest.
Taste comparison for carrots grown fall 2012 in St. Louis, MO in double dug clay soil after potatoes and prior to that lawn, probably a little on the acidic side.
Tasted sliced to ~1/8” or 3/16”, both raw and steamed for ~7 minutes, until soft but not mush.
We rated each carrot on a scale of one to four, one being best, with rating for how well that carrot grew (the number in parentheses) and how it tasted, with notes on taste both raw and cooked.
- Danvers ½ Long – great germination and growth (1) fairly sweet & carroty; steamed – very sweet and flavorful 1
- Cosmic Purple – (1) raw – mild sweet & spicy; steamed –sweet, spicy, flavorful 1
- Dragon – (purple) (2) (raw) – carroty, mild sweet good flavor; steamed – mid-sweet, spicy, flavorful 1
- St. Valery – great germination and growth and size (2) raw – good, not amazing, mild sweet, mild spicy; steamed – pretty good, not best 2
- Yellow Carrots (j.o.d.d.) – (2) – raw – firm, crunchy, sweet gentle carrot flavor; steamed – mild, sweet, carroty 2
- Chantenay Red Core – (2) Smaller Carrots – Raw – Sweet full flavor, carroty; steamed –good flavor, but not amazing 3
Eh, don’t bother
- Muskade – (4) poor germination – tasty to slugs – Raw-not sweet, watery, not favorite; steamed – worst flavor, watery, not sweet, slightly carroty 3
- Kuroda – very good germination and growth (3) Raw – carroty; steamed –decent flavor, but not amazing 4
- Scarlet Nantes – beans ’11 (4) poor germination Raw – Carroty; steamed –poor flavor
- Atomic Red – (4) – raw – a bit harsh, very carroty; steamed – carroty but not very sweet, still a bit harsh 4
Keeping the varieties separate while harvesting, cleaning, prepping, and cooking was truly a labor of love (i.e., huge pain in the butt), and something we don’t plan to repeat often. Now that we have our results, we will focus our efforts on growing our favorites, allowing the purchase of a larger quantity of seed, which saves money.
We actually tasted the Dragon into the #2 category, which I think is significant as it differentiates our top choice purple from our second choice
Also, very nice to see this in print. Fun to share it.