Information about Vegetables: Eggplant
About eggplant, information about the vegetable, production, history and varieties in the world.
The eggplant, or aubergine, as it is called in Europe, is extensively grown in eastern and southern Asia and in the U.S. Its beautiful purple color, glossy and smooth, is a familiar sight almost year round. What is not so well known is that prior to the 15th century, it was grown mainly as an ornament. People were afraid to eat it, probably because, like the tomato and the potato, it is a relative of the poisonous deadly nightshade. To select, choose a firm, shiny eggplant with a fresh green cap, and if it feels heavy for its size, all the better. If it is not to be used right away, it is better to refrigerate it. A simple and delicious way of preparing eggplant is to cook it with olive oil, and it is probably for that reason that it is extremely popular in the Mediterranean countries, where this oil is heavily used. Eggplant can be baked whole, either plain or stuffed. Many cooks like to salt this vegetable before use, and then press out any moisture. This salting and pressing is thought to cut down on the bitter taste which eggplant sometimes has. One of the most popular and well-known methods of cooking eggplant is a la Parmesan, in which the sauteed slices are layered alternately with a tomato sauce and cheese in an oven-proof dish, and then baked for about 45 minutes in a moderate oven.
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