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eggplantEggplants are fruits native to the Indian subcontinent but are now found throughout the world in different cultural cuisines. They are known as “aubergines”, and are also called brinjal, melongene, guinea squash and melitzana in Greek. These purple or black glossy fruits can grow more than a foot in length in wild varieties, though they are considerably smaller in normal agriculture. They reached the Middle East and the Mediterranean regions approximately 800 years ago and were referenced in England by the 16th century.
There are a number of varieties used throughout the world, and they are included in cuisines in many different ways. Although they are fruits, eggplants are commonly called the “king of vegetables”, at least in India, as they are one of the most versatile and functional foods.
In Greek cuisine, the eggplant takes center stage in many dishes. With it’s shiny, colorful skin and soft insides, this is an ideal vegetable to add to the Greek table. There are several different varieties in Greece and although the color of the skin can differ (eggplants in Greece are sometimes white or light purple in color), the flavor and function are basically the same.

  • An eggplant is almost 95% water.

  • Eggplants aren’t REALLY vegetables, they’re berries. Which isn’t that strange, considering other fruits are commonly mistaken for vegetables – like tomatoes.

  • Eggplants and tomatoes are actually related. They both belong to the nightshade family with the famous literary poison – deadly nightshade. But don’t worry, eggplant isn’t toxic (at least not in normal amounts).

  • Like tobacco, eggplant and other nightshade plants contain nicotine, though to a much lesser extent than tobacco.

  • The size of an eggplant depends on the variety. It ranges from 1.2 to 12 inches in length.

  • The eggplant is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins C, K and vitamins of the B group, and minerals such as copper, phosphorus and magnesium.

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