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Storing Fresh Loose Carrots

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2011

In tests, we’ve found carrots with green tops still attached have better flavor than those sold already trimmed. But what’s the best way to store them?

Since the vegetable will continue to feed the leafy tops in storage, should you remove the tops when you get home from the market? We purchased several bunches of carrots, left the tops intact on half, and removed the tops from the other half. We then stored the carrots in our refrigerator’s crisper drawer for two weeks. When we examined the samples, those stored with their tops attached were extremely limp, indicating moisture loss. But to our surprise, the trimmed carrots fared only slightly better.

Clearly, we needed to reevaluate our storage method. We repeated the test, this time placing both trimmed and untrimmed batches in open zipper-lock bags—a setup that trapped most of their moisture but allowed some to escape. After two weeks, the carrots with their tops on had still softened significantly, while the trimmed ones were just as firm and sweet-tasting as they had been two weeks prior.

IN THE BAG Store carrots trimmed of leafy tops in an open zipper-lock bag.