I’ve had cats. One of the carrots looks like a carrot, and the other like something scooped from a litter box. In the weird little world I live in, this is important research. All of the root cellaring books – including the most widely respected ones – advise not washing root veg before storage. A major no-no. So I intended on not washing my root veg. Cause I’m a good listener. But knowing that root cellaring books are written in climates warmer than ours, with humidity generally higher than ours, and knowing that local experience was likely valuable, I looked to my dad’s techniques when putting up veg this fall. He washes his root veg. At first, I thought ‘oh, if you only knew what all those books said’, but then considered his successful results – often storing carrots well into spring.
So this past fall, I put up many bins of washed, and a test bin of unwashed carrots. The one that looks like cat poop is the unwashed carrot. The other – washed. Crazy. Unbelievable difference in result. The washed carrots did not desiccate and/or rot like the unwashed ones did. The washed ones are far better quality too – crisper, fresher, tastier. In fairness, I chose one of the worst unwashed specimens from the unwashed bin for the photo – some of them were in usable form. But quality wise, no contest.