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  • Writer's pictureErik Sadao

orange carrot: A DUTCH odyssey from the golden age

Say hi to these freshly harvested carrots

Prepare for a delightful journey into the annals of Dutch history, as Sapiens Travel brings forth a riveting tale about the creation of orange carrots. The story immerses the curious mind into an intriguing account, filled with emblematic symbols of Dutch identity and perseverance.

It may come as a surprise that carrots were not always orange. In the 16th century Netherlands, carrots existed primarily in shades of purple, white, and yellow. However, a profound transformation awaited during the era of the Protestant Reformation.

Painted by Willem van Honthorst
The 4 generations of the House of Orange Princes (Rijksmuseum)

As the tides of this period swelled, orange evolved as a potent symbol of Dutch resistance against Spanish rule and identity. This color held significance as it symbolized the House of Orange, the ruling dynasty of the time. In a splendid display of support for their rulers and the Reformation, Dutch farmers embarked on an ambitious task – the cultivation of orange carrots.

This endeavour required careful selection and breeding, but the adept Dutch farmers triumphed in their mission. Thus, the vivid orange carrot familiar to all today was born! The vibrant hue became a marker of Dutch unity, resilience, and pride, testament to the ingenious farmers.

This captivating narrative not only underscores the expertise of the Dutch farmers, but also

brings into light how agriculture intertwines with cultural and historical narratives. The humble carrot, it turns out, carries a rich significance!

At Sapiens Travel, the endeavour to share such intriguing historical narratives with travellers in Amsterdam and beyond remains at the heart of the experiences curated. The belief resonates that understanding the past brings depth to appreciating the present. The hard work, determination, and creativity of Dutch farmers through history deserve acknowledgement.

Their contributions span beyond offering delightful orange carrots; they established a profound cultural connection to the past. Join in extending a grand salute to Willian Oranje I and all the Dutch farmers who have sculpted the history of carrots. Their efforts have left an enduring impact on the culinary heritage and cultural identity of the Netherlands. Their legacy continues to color plates and palettes with the vibrant orange of Dutch resilience.


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