Urban Legends of Hungary – The Carrot Edition


It’s slim pickings where fresh vegetables are concerned at this time of year, but one treasure of the back garden that’ll never let you down is the humble carrot. Part of every wholesome pre-lunch soup in Hungarian households, our crunchy, orange little friend is always there to keep things fresh, sweet and full of vitamins A and C! But just how amazing are carrots really? Is it true that they can enhance your night vision? And is that tempting enough to persuade carrot-fearing kids to eat them? We’re not sure. The Hungarians have come up with something way better.


The Urban Legend

It’s happened to most Hungarians. They didn’t want to eat their carrots at some point when they were kids, so their mamas told them that eating carrots makes you good at whistling. And most of them jumped at the chance of enhancing those whistling skills, and ate their carrots like there was no tomorrow. A few of the more observant ones eventually realized that their skills hadn’t really improved at all, and when they tried blowing air through their pouted mouths, all that came out was bits of half chewed carrot. You’re welcome to test it for yourself, but many a carrot munching Hungarian will tell you it’s not true.


The Theory

Bear in mind that this is just an old wives’ tale, so the theory isn’t going to be rocket science. What we’ve heard, is that because carrots are pretty solid, they require lots of chewing, which in turn strengthens your mouth muscles, and practices that musical instrument on your face. Tenuous? We think so. Still though, what’s a little white lie when it’ll get the kids ditching their chocolate bars for some healthy vegetables?


Other Stuff

We’ve never heard of English mamas telling their kids about the carrot-whistling connection, but it seems that didn’t stop a popular British supermarket chain playing a similarly bizarre hoax on its shoppers. Apparently, an advert from the supermarket was printed in a British newspaper, announcing the successful development of genetically engineered whistling carrots! They were supposed to be brilliant, kitchen-idiot proof carrots with little holes in them that would make the carrot whistle when it was ready, to prevent over-cooking. Obviously, this was just an April Fool’s Day trick, and carrots like that don’t really exist. Nice idea though.


Anyway, if we’ve gotten you more interested in carrots, why not test the whistling theory, practice creating your own whistling carrots, or indeed, pick up a few more useful carrot facts at www.carrotmuseum.com, or some brilliant carrot jokes at www.squidoo.com/carrotjokes!



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