The Peculiar Name of Eggplants

When we think of an eggplant, what comes to mind? Most likely, a long, purple fruit. But have you ever stopped to consider why it’s called an eggplant when it looks nothing like an egg? Well, thanks to a popular Reddit image, the name now makes a lot more sense! Let’s dive in and explore the fascinating differences between the white and purple varieties of eggplants.

White Eggplants: A Delicate Alternative

Fresh organic white eggplant vegetable

While the picture may give the impression that all white eggplants are small, they can actually grow to be longer in size. Similarly, there are times when purple eggplants are small and rounded. So, appearances can be deceiving! White eggplants, also known as white aubergines, offer a unique alternative to their more common purple counterparts.

When it comes to flavor, all eggplants have the potential to be rather bitter and rough when raw. However, once cooked, they transform into a culinary delight. Eggplants act like sponges, absorbing the flavors of the ingredients they are paired with. This makes them a fantastic addition to a variety of dishes, whether you grill, roast, sauté, fry, or bake them. They especially shine when paired with delicate flavors or light sauces.

When it comes to white eggplants, their flavor is often described as “fruity and mild.” Once cooked, they take on a “warm” and “mellow” quality, according to Specialty Produce. However, due to their thicker skin, it is recommended to remove it before cooking or consuming. On the other hand, the thinner skin of purple eggplants is entirely edible.

The Story Behind the Name

So, why are these fruits called eggplants in the first place? Well, the origins of this peculiar name can be traced back to a Chinese book on agriculture from 544. In the book, eggplants were first mentioned as a fruit with a strange name. Legend has it that European farmers in the 1700s gave them this name because they resembled little white or yellow eggs. At the time, eggplants reminded the farmers of goose or duck eggs, hence the name!

While white eggplants may be less common than their purple counterparts, home gardeners can often find them in specialized stores or through online seed catalogs. So, next time you come across an eggplant, take a moment to appreciate its unusual name and the fascinating diversity within this delicious fruit. Did you already know about the different varieties of eggplants? Share your thoughts in the comments below!