Eggplant

Eggplant

General Information: The eggplant first appeared north of the Alps in the 17th Century. The plants requires large amounts of sunshine to mature properly, which is important because unripe eggplants can cause stomach ailments. There are several varieties available in the Swiss markets. The most common variety is elongated with a deep purple color. These are also widely produced in hothouses. Other varieties include the round violet-colored variety from Italy, which has a very white flesh, and the small white eggplants, which are originally from Asia. The species is a native of India.

Season: Fresh eggplant is available from mid-Summer to early Fall. August and September are the optimal times to purchase fresh eggplant, although the season is from May – October.

Purchasing Tips: Look for firm, but not hard texture. The peel should appear smooth with no wrinkling. Avoid product with soft or brown spots, and dull or puffy appearance. Smaller eggplants will almost always be the least bitter in flavor.

Storage: Eggplant is best stored in a cool location and not under refrigeration. Cook eggplant within two days of purchase.

Cooking Tips: Eggplant is one of the few vegetables that is not suited for raw consumption. They can be cooked in a number of ways, including: grilling, sautéing, baking, deep-frying, and steaming. Eggplant is capable of soaking up several times its weight in oil when cooking, so judicious use of oils is recommended.

Nutritional Info: Moderate amounts of Iron

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