It's fun to be reminded how many of our 'natural' foods are in fact the result of a long collaboration between cultivator and cultivated, guided by the possibilities and limits of agriculture and by the choices and preferances of particular people in particular settings. According to the World Carrot Museum
—let me say that again: the World Carrot Museum
—the long orange carrot of supermarket and snowman-nose and Bugs Bunney fame was popularized by Dutch breeders in the 17th century, perhaps as a tribute to William of Orange
, the the Dutch independance leader who became a Calvinist and helped get the 80 years war started. His grandson William III
ruled the Netherlands and, later on, the British Isles, where he was responsible for the introduction of orange as the favored color of Irish protestants.