Posted by Brian @ 5:20 pm on May 19th 2007

The problem with carrots

I like carrots. Carrot juice. Fresh carrot with or without sour cream. Shredded carrot on salad. Carrot soup. And my favorite, carrot cake. Bring on the carrots I say.

But why oh why does the carrot end up in nearly every vegetarian meal, even when it makes no sense? From veggie burritos to Thai coconut soup it seems that the chef’s instinct upon hearing the word vegetarian is to reach for the carrot. Put it down I say!

Perhaps carrots are included in ethnic fare because they are considered inexpensive filler. It certainly isn’t because they’re native – carrots originated in Afghanistan but came into their own in the Netherlands (things Orange being significant there). What can be done to educate chefs about proper vegetarian fare? If there was a “keep the carrot out of ethnic food” movement to educate chefs I would surely donate.

Which brings me to a related case – I attended a fund raiser where omnivorous guests were treated to steak and a variety of interesting side dishes. As I watched my fellow gift-givers heartily dig in to their meal, I was served grilled zucchini with rock-hard broccoli next to boiled carrots. Yes, that was it. No sauce, no spice, nada. Lest you think this is anomaly this has happened to me more than once. The next time I’m served “rabbit food on a dish” the chef and I are going to have a little chat.