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We harvested all of the remaining carrots in our garden, and to our surprise a large number of them are white or bright yellow in the center, rather than being orange all the way through. The white carrots taste fine (very sweet and crunchy), but they don't look like any other carrots that I've seen before... more like a carrot that swallowed a parsnip. What causes this? Is it a problem?

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    Could you please post a photo of an offending white centre carrot? Also do you know what variety of carrot they are? – Mike Perry Sep 14 '11 at 19:25
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    Carrots usually have a 'core' that is a slightly different color. Could a bigger difference in color be due to the variety that you grew? – winwaed Sep 14 '11 at 19:26
  • I have seen it too. I do not think it is a problem. Were they a relatively wide shouldered variety? – J. Musser Sep 15 '11 at 1:37
  • Are there any Heavy prolonged rains in your area? – J. Musser Sep 15 '11 at 1:39
  • @Mike, I would post a picture, but the carrots have already been chopped and frozen. – JSBձոգչ Sep 16 '11 at 1:07
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It's perfectly normal. All carrots have a core, sometimes they are different color than the outside of the carrot. (I planted red carrots with an orange core last year.) The size of the core depends on the carrot variety (e.g. Nantes coreless has -- surprise -- a minimal core). Varieties with wide shoulders will have a bigger core. You can also end up with a bigger, tougher core if they remain in the ground for too long.

If the appearance of the white core bothers you, try planting one of the "coreless" varieties next year, and be sure to harvest before they get overmature.

  • The core doesn't bother me--as I said, the carrots taste great. But this is one of the wide-shouldered varieties, and I guess that this variety just sometimes turns out white in the center. – JSBձոգչ Sep 15 '11 at 11:46
  • I just wanted to know if a white core carrot was safe to eat, and google brought me here. Thank you. – Aditya M P Jul 7 '13 at 15:36

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