Carrots were not always orange. Throughout the ages they grew in many colors including purple and white. It was the Dutch, whose patriotic allegiance to the House of Orange (the Dutch Royal family), propagated the bright orange variety that is commonplace today.
Closely related to fennel and parsley, the carrot is an aromatic vegetable. Its combination with celery and onion in mirepoix (a combination of 25% chopped carrots, 25% chopped celery and 50% chopped onions used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, sauces, soups, etc.) is the flavor foundation for many dishes. Use the green carrot tops in stock as well.