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K. Kris Hirst

Eggplant History

By August 16, 2013

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Did you know that what we know about the domestication of the eggplant mostly comes from ancient history?

Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
Eggplant (Solanum melongena). Photo by Garrett and Kitty Wilkin

It turns out that, due to the plant's characteristics, there is a lack of archaeological evidence from eggplants in general. But, a detailed description of how eggplants came to be large, purply and (more or less) not as bitter as the wild form can be found in Chinese botanical reports dating back to the 1st century BC.

Fascinating stuff, and so just perfect for our About.com Guide to Plant Domestication.


June 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm
(1) Richard A. Diehl says:

Oh, come on! How can anyone NOT be a fan of Eggplant Parmesan as described on pages 494-95 of Marcella Hazan’s book Essentials of Italian Cooking? Be honest, now.

June 8, 2010 at 11:31 am
(2) Potter Beth says:

Cool reading!! I love the information you have on the article about the eggplant’s origins… Gotta admit, I love stuffed eggplant, as well as simply looking at them! ;)

June 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm
(3) Rasna says:

Eggplant is called that I believe as the first English speaking that saw them were white and shaped like an egg.

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