Not knowing then of course that you can use any type of carrot as baby carrots, you just pull them up before they're fully grown. Ah well, I'm better informed now. Still with our clay soil it's a good idea to stick to the shorter ones anyway.
So I grabbed some of each for dinner today, to do a taste comparison. Boiled for just a couple of minutes, then served with a little butter and parsley.
In the blue corner... Parmex. In my stupidity I didn't get a pic of these guys, so here's one from Thompson&Morgan instead. They can afford the bandwidth.
Designed to be very stumpy and ball-shaped. Mine are slightly more traditional-carrot-shaped than that (although the smaller ones are pretty round), maybe an inch in diameter and a little bit longer than that with a pointy end.
And in the red corner, the catchily-named Amsterdam Forcing 3-Sprint. Looks basically like a normal carrot. I did get a pic a few days ago.
The Parmex pic makes them look really dull (since it's obviously photoshopped), but they are a lovely orange colour, with a great perfumed carrot smell when you pull them up.
My prediction before the trial was that Amsterdam Forcing would taste better, based on the intensity of fragrance.
Michael had no such preconceptions, but we both agreed on our favourite... sure enough, the Amsterdam. Tastes sweeter and more "carroty", and the texture is better too, firmer. We have a winner!
* * *
Thinking about carrots made me remember that you can get purple carrots*, and I thought I'd have a look for some kind of mixed pack of seeds of different colours. I was disappointed. All I could find was mixtures with orange, yellow and white. Almost all were F1 hybrids (bah).
So instead I bought separate packets of red, purple, yellow and white from eBay, at a total cost of about £4.50. I'm intending to mix them with the Amsterdam Forcing I already have and sow them all together to create my own rainbow carrot mix. I'll happily swap some of them if anyone's interested.
And completely randomly, here's a dish I prepared a few days ago using garden veg. It's a stir-fry with chicken, noodles, purple kale, spinach, chard, rapini and mangetout peas. Wasn't bad at all.
*Carrots also come in yellow, white, purple and as I discovered today, red! How pretty!!