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Why Are Some Carrots Spicy – Some Fascinating Facts!

Have you ever tasted a peppery or “harsh” flavor in a carrot while biting it? These root veggies are typically known for their slightly sweet flavors—then why are some carrots spicy?

Like all other vegetables, carrots have a variety of chemical components which vary in flavor depending on the color, size, and region of cultivation.

It is a well-liked and multipurpose vegetable.

It is rare to hear people complain about why carrots taste bad. And carrot allergy is also a rare occurrence. So a sweet carrot cake harms no one.

Still, a few varieties of carrots are spicy, so finding out if spicy carrots are safe to eat is worth it.

Let’s read to find out!

Carrots on a table—why are some carrots spicy
Why are some carrots spicy? – Image via Jonathan Pielmayer.

Why Are Some Carrots Spicy? | Science Behind Spicy Carrot!

A carrot is a type of root vegetable found across the globe. It is one of the vegetables with the sweetest flavor pairings with any other vegetables.

The most popular hue of a carrot may be orange, which also comes in purple, yellow, red, and white. But all carrots contain a special chemical compound.

1.     γ‑Terpinene

It is widely known that carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan at around 900 AD. Early carrots were either yellow or purple.

The sugar in carrots gives them a mildly sweet taste but can also have an earthy or bitter flavor. The two most popular chemical components, which add sweetness and bitterness, are sugar and terpenoids.

According to a Swiss study, the component responsible for the harsh flavor in carrots is the volatile compound γ‑terpinene.

It may sound worse than it actually is, but there is nothing to be afraid of.

All carrots contain this chemical, which, when combined with sugar, gives carrots their unique flavor. But when it’s present in large amounts, it imparts a harsh and soapy flavor to carrots instead of a sweet one.

These terpinenes are neutralized by high sugar concentration and vice versa.

Thus, carrots with a naturally high sugar content will be less bitter, and less sugar content makes carrots bitter or earthy.

2.    Chlorogenic Acid

The same Swiss study also discovered that organic carrots typically contain more sugar than regular, commercially farmed types. To verify these findings, you might want to test any variety of carrots in your garden yourself.

Numerous factors, like the type of carrot you are using, early harvesting, unfavorable growth conditions, and even how you store them at home, might cause them to be spicy.

Chlorogenic acid is present in carrots and other food varieties such as peaches, eggplant, kiwi fruit, and plums. This compound also gives coffee its acidity and slightly harsh, bitter flavor.

As you may expect, it is also responsible for relative acidic harshness if present in various fruits and vegetables.

Experiment with this; hold a slice of kiwi on your tongue for a while. You will probably feel the sweetness first, then a faint bitter tartness; shortly after that, it’ll begin to burn.

This is how chlorogenic acid shows its effects.

Depending on which of our taste buds is most tuned in at the time, our tongues interpret the acidity as either bitter or spicy. That is the reason why some carrots are spicy.

There will be changes in the concentrations of certain chemicals in various carrot parts. This implies that one end of the carrot—typically around where the greenery grows—might taste harsh and have a fiery, “peppery” flavor, while the other is gentle and sweet.

But don’t worry; even if your carrots taste a little soapy, there’s nothing wrong with them, and you may still eat them.

Specially Colored Carrots Are Spicy!

Scientific studies have shown that many purple carrots are sweeter and spicier than many other types, probably because they contain higher levels of sugar and volatile terpenoids.

Carrots are often very easy to grow.

However, different colors develop in carrots at different paces.

Therefore, your purple and red carrots will probably mature a few weeks later than orange or yellow carrots. So, planting purple carrots might take longer to process than normal orange ones.

One of the spiciest types of carrots now available seems to be the “Purple Dragon” Kuroda-style carrot. It’s also one of the tastiest carrots.

This variety’s cross-breeding combines the best qualities of both the species being crossed.

It features an orange center and purple skin, and outside flesh. As you might expect, the outside is spicier than the inside, which is sweet and crunchy.

Cosmic Purple, Purple Haze, and Purple Dragon are carrots that are good for people who need to follow a low-sugar diet since they contain 20% less sugar than regular orange carrots.

Related article: Why Do Carrots Turn White? How To Fix It?

If you put these through a spiralizer, how great would they look? They could produce excellent “noodles” for almost any cuisine, whether it is cooked or uncooked.

Children adore vibrant colors and get quite pleased when rainbow-colored foods are dipped in hummus, guacamole, and other foods.

Carrots with different colors—why are some carrots spicy
Why are some carrots spicy? – Image via Heather Gill.

Nutritional Benefits of Carrot

A half cup of carrots serving contains:

  • 25 Calories
  • Carbohydrates = 6 grams
  • Fiber = 2 grams
  • Sugar = 3 grams
  • Protein = 0.5 grams

A rich source of essential vitamins and minerals is carrots.

From a half-cup, you can get up to:

  • 73% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
  • 8% of your daily potassium and fiber.
  • 9% of your daily vitamin K intake.
  • 5% of your daily vitamin C intake.
  • 2% of the calcium and iron you need each day.

That would be all!


So, as you are at the end of the article, now you know why some carrots are spicy. With the nutritional benefits of carrots at only 25gm per serving, it is a great choice to add to your daily diet.

Spicy carrots are safe to eat as long as they are well-preserved, and you can also choose them as a side rainbow dish to celebrate with your friends.

Eating a rainbow dish daily is best for general health as they are delicious and healthy.

They are rarely allergic to carrots, so sharing a rainbow dish harms no one. Your family and friends keep wondering whether they taste bad or not, whereas you can serve the best dish of your life with the same.