The only member of the deadly nightshade clan to be native to the East, the eggplant was once viewed with enormous suspicion in certain parts of Europe. Arab traders took the vegetable west, first to Spain. The Spanish warmed to it quite readily and called it the ‘apple of love’ as they believed it to posses aphrodisiac powers.
There are many eggplant varieties. They come in more shapes, sizes and skin colors than most of us are likely to encounter. On our farm we grow two varieties that produce well in northern climates: Swallow and Pingtung.
Selection and Storage: Eggplants are quite perishable, so it is important to choose them at their peak. They should be firm and heavy for their size and have taut, shiny, smooth skins. Store eggplants for no more that 2-3 days, and at cool room temperature if possible.
Information from: The Produce Bible by Leanne Kitchen