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Eggplant are also known as aubergine.

Indians call them brinjal. In Italy they are knon as melanzane which means crazy apple!

The name eggplant is derived from the egg-like shape of the most common varieties. While they are available year round, eggplant are in peak season from late spring to early autumn.

Top Tip: Never eat eggplant raw – Eggplant contain the toxin solamine which can cause gastro problems among other things.

Apparently modern varieties have the bitterness bred out of them so salting is no longer necessary to get rid of bitterness. However a salted eggplant will require slightly less oil and will cook more quickly than an unsalted one, because the salting process softens the eggplant, resulting in less oil takeup. Cooking an eggplant briefly in a microwave can achieve the same effect as salting. Eggplant loves olive oil, the grilled version never develops the wonderful silky texture that only olive oil can bring. So if you are going to cook eggplant, be generous with the olive oil.

Selecting Tips

Medium sized are usually best. Eggplant that are smooth, shiny and heavy for their size are most likely to be the freshest and have the least seeds. Eggplants get all wrinkly as they get old.

It’s best to keep eggplant at room temperature like tomatoes.

Health Benefits

Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K.

Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.