Eurofoods: grated carrots

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Carottes rapees

As part of a series of items about food in Europe that has a connection to cycling I missed out grated carrots. I covered Nutella, pasta, stroopwafels and even water but not the dish known in French as carottes râpées.

Imagine the eve of a French stage race, maybe the Four Days of Dunkirk or the Route du Sud. A two-star chain hotel on the outskirts of town near a retail park and the town’s ring road. Inside, riders are sitting down to plates of overcooked pasta. The essential accompaniment to all this is a salad bowl of grated carrots.

Description
As simple as you can get. Grated carrots with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice mixed in.

Euro Cyclist Use
A source of vitamins and fibre, the carrots also contain beta carotene, minerals and anti-oxidants in good quantity.

Background
There’s something old school about this dish. It is good for you but it has been a staple of the pro cyclist’s diet for decades and if it is all right the first time, imagine trying to eat it for the twentieth day in a row. Many rider will long for the day when they can eat something else. Here’s FDJ’s Jeremy Roy who got in to many a breakaway in the Tour de France, enough to work up a big appetite for the rest day on the Tour de France:

What better than a good BBQ, some chips and ice cream for the rest day in the Tour de France.? Er, no in fact, the Tour isn’t finished. It’ll be grated carrots.

This is part of a series on European foods with links to cycling or simply for fuel:
Part I: Nutella
Part II: Pâte de fruits
Part III: Stroopwafels
Part IV: Coffee
Part V: Frites
Part VI: Pasta
Part VII: French Bakeries
Part VIII: Water
Part IX: Sirop
Part X: Pharmaceuticals
Part XI: Summary
Part XII: Esta Thé
Part XIII: Grated carrots
Part XIV: Speculoos
Part XV: Belgian beer
Part XVI: Oman Coffee
Part XVI: Italian Ice-cream

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{ 7 comments }

Larry T. November 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I’ll nominate “strudel di mele” Italian for apple strudel. For us this is the energy bar of the Dolomites. At the top of almost every pass the rifugio will have their own version. I’ve never seen anything that looked like a commercial/packaged product, it always looks homemade in the refrigerated case or in a covered dish atop the bar. Sugar, fruit, a bit of fat, moist and tasty…nothing could be better. Unless like one of our long-time clients you create the “trifecta” and add a hot-chocolate (which is like hot pudding in Italy) and a Coke! That will get you up the next climb for sure. Mylar-wrapped “energy bars”? Who needs ‘em (in Italy anyway)?

Olly November 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Great trivia! Another one added to my ‘reasons why pro cycling isn’t all its cracked up to be’ list.
It might just be my system, but the links to other food pieces don’t seem to work, it just says ‘database error’… Would love to read them.

Jim November 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm

The carrots are a key ingredient in a gemischte salad as served in Austria and Germany. Throw in some greens, cucumber, beans, pickled beets. Good recovery food.

Starr November 13, 2011 at 2:55 am

I went to a “Mexican” restaurant in Gent, Belgium about 15 years ago.
Grated carrots were one of the taco fillers, along with the normal cheese, meat and beans.
We laughed pretty hard, but the texture somehow worked!

Darren November 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Since I have only recently become aware of your wonderful blog I have missed the other instalments of your eurofoods series! Great stuff!

Nutella is part of my pre-ride/race diet – a big part, along with honey!
Pate de Fruits! Hmmm!!! Relinds me of when I first started riding here in Belgium; and the Belgians laughed at me when I pulled a wrapper of those out of my back pocket! They still laugh about it!!!
Coffee: sadly there a number of euro countries that have no idea how it is supposed to taste, especially the Brits & Irish (nothing personal as my folks are one of each!), but the further south you go the better it gets! I could go to Italy just for an espresso!
Frites: did you know the Belgians cultivated a specific type of potato to make frites with!
Bakeries: Belgium also has a proud tradition, and near where I live (centre of Sint Niklaas) there is roughly 6 bakeries within 5 min walking distance! It hurts to decide which one to go to! ;-)
Pharmaceuticals: I work in the supply side and am amazed how much pill-popping goes on here!!! Unreal!!!

Ok, that was my 5 cents worth! One thing I would like to share! Here in Belgium a popular energy food to take with on a long and/or hard ride is a rice pastry (pretty sweet, about the size of the palm of your hand, and burnt up as energy within an half hour, so should not affect those Valverde ab’s)!!!

Thanks again for a great blog!!!

C Grade Cyclist November 14, 2011 at 4:02 am

Aaaaah yes – the grated carrots.

Have been to many Aussie bbq’s where a salad of grated carrots, shredded coconut, and sultanas was served up… If only I knew how Euro it was, I wouldn’t have opted for the green salad instead… ;)

zalamanda December 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

nice pieces, especially in the Lexicon. Kinderkopjes: lmfao. I never knew Nutella was Italian, that would explain a lot. you should do something on horsemeat sausage as favored by the Dutch; controversial but hey this is Yurp

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