Will the real baby carrot please stand up?

Posted by Cat Ramos
The real McCoy and the cute pretender
A baby carrot and a baby-cut carrot

I love browsing through the internet for bento pictures — they always inspire me to keep on creating nice bentos. One thing I noticed about bentos made by Americans is that they always have baby carrots in their bentos. In whatever form: steamed, boiled, raw. The carrots look really cute and I was thinking how lucky they are that such cute vegetables grow on their soil. Having those baby carrots in a bento is not only for the cuteness factor, but also adds a nice splash of color and ups the nutrient level of your food several notches higher.

So when I was doing some food shopping at SM (where else?), I happened to find mini-carrots. They look like real carrots, only much much smaller. They don’t look like the American baby carrots. I think the American ones are already peeled and of uniform size. But then, I came back another day and happened to pass by the frozen vegetable freezers and found a bag of Bolthouse baby carrots! Exactly like in those bentos!

Of course, that same night, I made a bento and made it a point to use them right away. They looked really cute…but somehow, they don’t have a lot of that carrot taste I like. These ones are quite bland.

Baby carrots
Baby carrots

I did a Google search on these carrots, and guess what? They aren’t “baby” carrots, after all! They are from regular carrots, only trimmed to uniform small sizes. The regular carrots are oftentimes too crooked to be sold, so they are washed and cut into the now super popular baby carrot. The term “baby carrot” is quite misleading, since it is actually a full-grown carrot already. So to be more politically correct, the manufacturers now market them as “baby-cut carrots”.

There are real baby carrots, though. Like that one pack I originally bought. Haha. They are uprooted even before the root has fully matured. Apparently, they have more nutrients than the fully grown ones. That I am not sure, as there is little information about this.

Anyway, the first carrot pack I bought is only less than P8.00. The Bolthouse one? Nearly P300 for a 1-pound pack. Can you believe that?? This will be the first and last time that I will buy such carrots 😛 Too expensive for something not so tasty. I think I will go back to the bigger varieties – I think I have a lot more uses for them than the babies.

For more information on baby-cut carrots, Wikipedia can help 🙂

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