2. Red. Carrots have been popping up in many colours lately, including red, purple, yellow and white. Orange carrots, however, were not the norm until the 17th century when they became all the rage in the Netherlands. A popular myth is that orange carrots were developed by Dutch botanists to honour William I of Orange, but the story doesn't hold up under deeper digging. (If you don't believe me, check out http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history2.html for a good survey of evidence.)
4. Blue. The colour of some of the dark blue and purple potatoes is not only skin deep-many have flesh ranging from pink to purple. Although this colouring comes from anthocyanins too, the colour doesn't break down when the potatoes are baked.
5. Green. Beautiful lime-green Romanesco cauliflower (sometimes called Romanesco broccoli or broccoflower) isn't a new variety at all. It's been in cultivation in Italy for centuries. The pointy spirals of the curd are entrancing and the texture of the vegetable when raw is superb, perfect for a crudités tray.
6. White. White asparagus is a delicacy in Germany. It is grown by hilling soil over the sprouts as they grow, denying them of sunlight. The spears grow quite fat and are fantastically delicate of taste and texture.
7. Fuschia. Swiss chard 'Bright Lights', an All Americas Selection for 1998, has stems with fantastic colour. It deserves full credit for reinvigorating chard in the modern mindset.
9. Black. The chilli pepper Capsicum 'Black Pearl' is a real beauty. The leaves are a very deep purple-black, and the fruits are cherry-sized shiny black spheres that turn striking red when ripe. Generally grown as an ornamental, the peppers are extremely hot without being all that tasty.
All pictures and contect belong to Ontario Garderner/Pegasus Publications