The vegatable that rooted in the bank of the Genil river

Purple carrot is a type of carrot that has been grown since the ancient Al-Ándalus in the lands near the bank of the Genil River, in Cuevas Bajas and, in less proportion, in Cuevas de San Marcos. This is the most original variety of carrot known to men. In fact, it was introduced by the Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula and it refused to changed its colour for the orange that the Dutch gave the now traditional carrots. To prevent this peculiar vegetable from disappearing, farmers from this area follow a very strict seed choice process. Because of that, they have managed to preserved its different characteristics: the inner yellow colour with a wide variety of purple tones spread throughout the carrot in concentric circles.

This purple carrot from Málaga offers a surprising soft flavour and, at the same time, a sweet flavour. They are normally grown at the beginning of summer so they can be collected in the last days of autumn.

Use

Due to its characteristics, purple carrot from Málaga can be consumed in many different ways. Raw, in salads or fried. However, they should not be eaten boiled like orange carrots. A company from Cuevas Bajas has started to distribute different carrot products using this variety, like jams, vinegars or even snacks, that are sold inside and outside the province of Málaga. It is in this village in the northern mountain range in Málaga where the biggest producer of purple carrot celebrates, since the beginning of this century, an event that wants to draw attention to purple carrots and its products: the Holiday of Purple Carrot.

Every first of December, during carrot picking season, the inhabitants of Cuevas de San Marcos host thousands of people so they get to know the purple carrot, which can be bought directly from the producers. It is also usual to give the people who attendend the celebration a plate of migas with purple carrots on the side.

Purple carrots from Málaga rooted since the ancient Al-Ándalus in the bank of the Genil river. They are grown in the fertile lands near this river. They are specially grown in Cuevas Bajas and Cuevas de San Marcos. They both produce the highest amount of this healthy vegetable, following market demand. They have produced over 300.000 kilos in the last seasons and they are sold both in the province and outside the province so they can be eaten raw or used to make different carrot products.

This vegetable, which is original from Asia, was introduced in the Iberian Peninsula during the ancient Al-Ándalus period, when a caravan of Arabs crossed the Sahara dessert and arrived to the Iberian Peninsula carrying the seeds from Far East. These families found in the banks of the Genil revir a fertile land with ideal conditions for its growth. In fact, the introduction of orange carrot made purple carrot almost unique in this area. Thirteen centuries have passed and the tradition of growing this vegetable near the border of the province of Málaga has not yet been lost.

Purple carrot is known for being more benefitial for our health than orange carrots. In fact, they have many therapeutic properties because they are diuretic, have anticancer components and some people even state they have aphrodisiac powers. They do are a great source of carbohidrates and also have important dosis of vitamin A, E, and B and minerals like potasium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine and calcium. Unlike traditional carrots, purple carrots have up to six times more antioxidants.