Refridgerating carrots: a seditious act?

April 5, 2006 at 6:41 am (Food Science)

I get carrots in my CSA box that were just pulled out of the ground, and I usually nibble on them on the way home. They are wonderfully sweet and just oh so good. When I get home I refrigerate them. However, if I try them the next day they tast so different! Much more bitter. Like a different vegetable, almost. Has anyone else experienced this? I know you’re not supposed to refrigerate tomatoes, but I’ve never heard that it does anything to carrots? Is it in my head? Next time someone gets carrots at a farmer’s market that were just picked do a test and tell me if I’m hallucinating.

Or maybe it’s not the act of refridgerating them, but just what happens over time after they are picked. If I had a root cellar I could do a real taste test to compare the results, but without it I think any carrots I leave out overnight will be dried out and floppy.

A friend also suggested that it could be the carrots are just better at room temperature. I don’t think that is it but it is easy to test.

1 Comment

  1. pennyi said,

    I believe you need to remove the green tops immediately if you buy them intact. As pretty as they look, it’s detrimental to the freshness and nutritional value of the carrot.

    Also, the bitterness you describe is due to carrots being sensitive to ethylene. They absorb the gas emitted from other produce, so keep them away in a separate compartment from apples, bananas, peaches, etc. Or keep them bagged and sealed. You can easily find a list of other high ethylene producing fruits, which helps when organizing your produce drawers.

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