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ROOT VEGETABLES STOCK FOOD PHOTOS, STOCK FOOD PICTURES & FOOD PHOTO ART PRINTS
Stock photos & stock pictures gallery of Root vegetables.
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here “root” means any underground part of a plant.
Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of carbohydrate. Of particular economic importance are those with a high carbohydrate concentration in the form of starch. Starchy root vegetables are important staple foods, particularly in tropical regions. They overshadow the cereals throughout much of West Africa, Central Africa, and Oceania, where they are used directly or mashed to make foufou or poi.
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshades). The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. First introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, today potatoes have become an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine and are the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialised care in cold warehouses and such warehouses are among the oldest and largest storage facilities for perishable goods in the world.
Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas, from the United States to Uruguay. Today over 99% of all cultivated potatoes worldwide are descendants of a subspecies indigenous to south-central Chile. Based on historical records, local agriculturalists, and DNA analyses, the most widely cultivated variety worldwide, Solanum tuberosum ssp. tuberosum, is believed to be indigenous to the Chiloé Archipelago where it was cultivated as long as 10,000 years ago. However, genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species suggests that all potatoes have a single origin in the area of southern Peru (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where potatoes were first domesticated between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.
Introduced to Europe by Spain in 1536, the potato was subsequently conveyed by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world. Thousands of varieties persist in the Andes, where over 100 cultivars might be found in a single valley, and a dozen or more might be maintained by a single agricultural household. Once established in Europe, the potato soon became an important food staple and field crop. But lack of genetic diversity, due to the very limited number of varieties initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease. In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like oomycete Phytophthora infestans, spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland, resulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine.
The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the twenty-first century included about 33 kg (73 lb) of potato. However, the local importance of potato is extremely variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world’s largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India.
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called the sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambur, is a species of sunflower native to the eastern United States, from Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable. Jerusalem artichokes are easy to cultivate, which tempts gardeners to simply leave them completely alone to grow. However, the quality of the edible tubers degrades unless the plants are dug up and replanted in fertile soil. This can be a chore, as even a small piece of tuber will grow if left in the ground, making the hardy plant a potential weed.
The tubers Jerusalem artichokes have a consistency much like potatoes, and in their raw form have a similar texture to potatoes, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor; raw and sliced thinly, they are fit for a salad. The carbohydrates give the tubers a tendency to become soft and mushy if boiled, but they retain their texture better when steamed.
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable
The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). The softer, orange variety is often called a yam in parts of North America, a practice intended to differentiate it from the firmer, white variety. The sweet potato is botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called a yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires that sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” also be labeled as “sweet potatoes”.
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are edible as well. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot.
The carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange colour from β-carotene, which is metabolised into vitamin A in humans when bile salts are present in the intestines. Massive overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenosis, a benign condition in which the skin turns orange. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals.
Lack of Vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding Vitamin A back into the diet. An urban legend says eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark. The legend developed from stories of British gunners in World War II who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots’ carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes, as well as the use of red light (which does not destroy night vision) in aircraft instruments. It reinforced existing German folklore and helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable.
The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most carrots and have a sweeter flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times.
Until the potato arrived from the New World, its place in dishes was occupied by the parsnip and other root vegetables such as the turnip. While parsnips can be eaten raw, they are more commonly served cooked. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root and contributing starch to thicken the dish. Roasted parsnip is considered an essential part of Christmas dinner in some parts of the English-speaking world and frequently features in the traditional Sunday Roast. Parsnips can also be fried.
The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock.
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