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Eggplant

eggplant-categoryIt is during the late summer and early fall that any number of varietal and heirloom eggplants appear in the market. We are all familiar with the year round dark, shiny bell shaped eggplants that are used in a variety of traditional Italian-American recipes such as eggplant parmesan and lasagna. A little research reveals that eggplants, having originated in India, are a well traveled and international vegetable. There are many exotic varieties coming from remote regions of Turkey, Africa, Italy, Thailand and China. Eggplants are a member of the large and diverse nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, chilies and bell peppers. They come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes that range from small, striped orbs the size of a golf ball to green, purple or white elongated varieties, purple and white striped globes and dark black eggplants weighing over 2 pounds.

Eggplant

Eggplant

There are many shapes, sizes and colors of eggplant. They may be green, purple, white striped with red or lavender. The Asian varieties are slender and elongated while the North American and European varieties are oval and elongated.

Eggplant - Casper

Eggplant - Casper

Snow white skin and flesh, oval shaped and slightly elongated.  Firm and dense with sweet mushroom like flavor and meaty flesh.

Eggplant - Chinese Pink

Eggplant - Chinese Pink

Compared to the familiar American eggplant, Chinese eggplant are long and cylindrical with blushing pink thin skin,. They have delicate flavor, creamy texture and not as many seeds that tend to make eggplants bitter.

Eggplant - Graffiti

Eggplant - Graffiti

Smaller than Rosa Bianca with classic eggplant shape.

Eggplant - Japanese

Eggplant - Japanese

Distinguishable by its long narrow shape and deep purple color. Japanese eggplant have thin skin and smooth flesh

Eggplant - Listada di Gandia

Eggplant - Listada di Gandia

Listada di Gandia is one of the most beautiful eggplants. A specialty purple striped Italian heirloom variety with a classic egg shape. They are tender, smooth and creamy with a thinner skin than most Italian varieties.

Eggplant - Neon

Eggplant - Neon

Neon eggplant, an heirloom variety, has an elongated tear drop shape with pink-purple neon skin. Their tender white flesh is smooth and creamy.

Eggplant - Rosa Bianca

Eggplant - Rosa Bianca

Italian Heirloom-medium in size, tear drop shaped eggplant with lavender-white skin and creamy white flesh with no taste of bitterness, mild in flavor.