Originally carrots were not orange, and orange carrots were considered ‘provocative’! Why did we make them orange?
Originally carrots were white or purple. Orange carrots were just unheard of! They were first bred in The Netherlands in 17th century from the white and purple varieties in honor of the Orange-Nassau dynasty. They were the leading family of The Netherlands from the mid-16th century and are now the Royal family.
Orange carrots were so strange that it was seen as ‘provocative’ in the early modern era and was banned in certain Dutch markets! It is amazing that they have become so common that most of us have not yet seen the white or purple variety for sale in markets! It is through the Orange-Nassau dynasty and it's association with Protestant politics of early modern Europe that the color orange gained its religious, political and Dutch associations.
Despite the fact that orange is such a very important color to the Dutch people and link them to their history, there is no orange to be found in the Dutch flag. The Dutch are known to be a very practical people, and when they found the orange dye is too unstable, they changed it to the vermilion red that is now seen in the flag of that nation.
White and purple carrots are now back in fashion and is becoming available as ‘heritage’ varieties.