Why Is It Called an Eggplant?

Quck answer

The term “eggplant” is used to describe the vegetable because of its shape and color. The fruit of the plant is typically oval or egg-shaped, hence the name “eggplant.” Additionally, the most common variety of eggplant has a deep purple color, similar to the color of an egg. The name “eggplant” is widely used in North America and Australia, while in other parts of the world it is known by different names, such as “aubergine” in Europe and “brinjal” in South Asia. Despite the different names, the vegetable remains a popular ingredient in various cuisines around the globe.

Have you ever tasted a guinea squash? How about a brinjal or a melongene? Maybe you’ve had an aubergine? No? None of these things? Well, perhaps you have and simply didn’t realize it. These are all alternative names for a food item that you might be familiar with as the eggplant!

Most individuals would likely assume that the eggplant is a vegetable. However, it’s actually the fruit of a plant with the same name. Eggplants are also closely related to tomatoes and potatoes. While eggplants can be found growing wild, they are also cultivated as an annual crop in regions with a mild climate.

Eggplant is renowned for its fleshy and meaty texture. Although it is prepared and consumed in various dishes like a vegetable, it is technically classified as a berry. Have you ever examined the inside of an eggplant up close? If so, you may have noticed numerous small and soft seeds. These seeds are edible, but they possess a bitter taste.

There are numerous varieties of eggplant fruits. Most of them have a long and oval shape, resembling a gourd or squash. The colors of eggplants also vary. The most common color is a dark purple. In fact, there is a color called aubergine that closely resembles the purple hue of the eggplant.

When people hear the word “eggplant,” they typically envision a long and purple fruit with a gourd-like shape. How did something long and purple end up with that name? Well, back in the 1700s, early European versions of eggplants were smaller and yellow or white. They resembled goose or chicken eggs, which led to the name “eggplant.”

The eggplant has been in existence for a very long time. It is native to India and Southeast Asia. In fact, the earliest known written mention of eggplant comes from a Chinese agricultural book written in 544.

Raw eggplant has a bitter taste, similar to its seeds. However, when cooked, it becomes tender and develops a rich flavor. Some recipes that feature eggplant recommend salting, rinsing, and draining the sliced fruit. This process further softens the fruit and reduces its absorption of fat during the cooking process. If you skip salting and pressing the eggplant before cooking, it will absorb more fat and become greasy.

Today, eggplant is a popular ingredient in many cultures. It is commonly used in recipes from France, Egypt, and Italy. It is also prominent in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. In fact, five countries (China, India, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey) account for 90% of eggplant production.

Have you ever tasted eggplant? If not, you have probably encountered it at the grocery store. Its distinctive shape and color make it hard to miss!

Try It Out

Do you enjoy eating eggplant? Have you ever given it a try? If not, now is the perfect time! Grab a friend or family member and explore one or more of the following activities:

Explore the World of Eggplants

Embark on a field trip accompanied by an adult friend or family member. Make your way to the produce section of your local grocery store and embark on a quest to find an eggplant. If necessary, visit multiple stores until you locate one. Does the appearance of the eggplant match your expectations? Reflect on the similarities and differences between the eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.

Today’s Wonder of the Day has revealed that eggplants are known by various names across the globe. Imagine stumbling upon an eggplant in the wild without prior knowledge of its identity. Engage your creativity and brainstorm three or four potential names for this intriguing plant. Share your ideas with friends and family to discover their choices.

Once you return home, head to the kitchen to experiment with a scrumptious eggplant recipe. Explore options such as Eggplant and Zucchini Roll Ups or Eggplant Gratin. Take a moment to review the ingredient list to ensure you have all the necessary supplies. Seek assistance from an adult friend or family member during the cooking process.

Wonder Sources

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wki/Eggplant (accessed 08 Aug 2019)
  • http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/eggplant.cfm (accessed 08 Aug 2019)

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