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Why Eggplant Is Good And Where Did It Come From
Why Eggplant Is Good And Where Did It Come From

Video: Why Eggplant Is Good And Where Did It Come From

Video: Why Eggplant Is Good And Where Did It Come From
Video: Eggplant nutrition facts | Eggplant Health Benefits 2023, March

Eggplant multicolor


Until recently, no one would have thought of trying to get an eggplant crop on our unkind Ural land.

However, time passed, new varieties and hybrids of eggplant appeared, new technologies began to be applied, and these exotic fruits in our gardens became a reality.

Of course, these are not carrots (although care is also needed for them), and, I admit, you will have to make a lot of effort, but even in the worst summer, eggplants, with proper care, will delight you with a good harvest. Naturally, we are not talking about large plantations, since every centimeter of greenhouses is “its weight in gold”. But an eggplant harvest that is too large is not required: they are not kept fresh for long (in the lower compartment of the refrigerator for no more than 10 days), and the removed fruits must be immediately processed. Therefore, I plant a dozen or a half (how it will turn out) bushes, and our family, in fact, has enough of them.

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Eggplant plants that are exotic to us can transform the look of any greenhouse. Majestic, with powerful foliage and a "tree-like trunk", they amaze with the variety of shapes and colors of their fruits. If earlier in our vegetable stores in the fall there appeared strictly purple fruits of eggplants of a standard shape and clearly overgrown, and in addition with a dubious taste, then in your garden you can get completely different fruits (both in appearance and in taste).

And this will force you to radically change your views on the practical value of this vegetable. But what to say, before, in fact, we had no idea how tasty eggplants can be (it's not for nothing that they are the favorite vegetable of many southern peoples), and we looked completely indifferently at what the trade offered us. Yes, and I myself once began to plant eggplants just for the sake of exoticism, and only then I realized how tasty they are, and how useful they are.

Eggplant fruits should be firm and firm, the skin should be shiny, and the color should be bright.

We all know that most often caviar is prepared from eggplant (remember, "overseas caviar - eggplant"). But in fact, what of them just do not. Eggplants are stewed in sour cream, with tomato and garlic; baked with cheese and eggs; fried with tomatoes, onions and rice, prepare a vegetable stew; salt and pickle. In addition, they are fried, baked, stuffed and even dried (though I haven't tried this option).

Where are you from, fabulous eggplant?

Unlike most other nightshade crops that are native to America, eggplant came to us from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Until now, wild forms of this plant can be found in India, Burma, Pakistan, Indochina and on islands close to them. However, it was the Indians who introduced it into the culture (according to scientific data, as early as 1,000 BC), and only then from India the Persian merchants brought eggplant, first to China, and then to North Africa. And only at the next stage, the Arabs introduced the Europeans to eggplant. And it happened around the XIV-XVI centuries in Italy and Spain. Then, very quickly, eggplant spread throughout southern Europe.

Eggplant fruits can be of the most diverse shapes - from flattened and spherical, pear-shaped and cylindrical doros. And there is no need to talk about coloring.

Eggplant penetrated into Russia approximately in the 17th-18th centuries from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Already at the beginning of the 19th century, it was actively cultivated in Astrakhan and the Crimea. Today, large and shiny eggplant fruits are widely known throughout the world.

As for the yield obtained, it should be borne in mind that eggplant has a slightly different ratio of vegetative and generative parts on the plant. If tomato plants can literally be covered with fruits, then in eggplants the proportion of leaves and stems significantly exceeds the proportion of flowers and fruits. On average, 5-7 fruits are formed on a plant, well, if you manage to get 10-15 fruits, then this is just a miracle.

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It's not just a delicious vegetable


Eggplant is really not only a delicious vegetable, but a valuable medicinal product (all medicines would be so delicious!). And there is nothing surprising in this, because their fruits contain almost a third of the periodic table, and at the same time belong to low-calorie foods (the most delicious diet for those who want to lose weight). It is believed that eggplants contribute to the healing of the whole body, improve metabolism and blood properties, and normalize the functioning of the heart, kidneys, liver and intestines.

They contain a lot of vitamins B1 and C, carotene, iron salts, cobalt, copper. And the optimal ratio of potassium and sodium salts and the presence of pectins contribute to a more complete elimination of cholesterol from the body. That is why eggplants are very useful for atherosclerosis and anemia. The presence, again, of a large amount of potassium increases the work of the heart and promotes the elimination of fluid from the body.

Overgrown eggplants in the fruits accumulate in large quantities the potent poison solanine. This is one of the reasons why fruits at the stage of seed ripening should not be eaten.

Pectin substances contained in eggplants in considerable quantities have bactericidal properties, enhance the excretion of harmful substances, and phenols and anthocyanins prevent the development of tumors and increase the absorption of fats.

It turns out that not all eggplants are so healthy

Just like a number of other vegetables, it is customary to distinguish between technical (consumer) ripeness and biological ripeness in eggplants. Eggplants in technical ripeness have a bright color characteristic of the variety and a shiny surface. In biological ripeness, they lose their luster, become bitter and rough, moreover, completely unsuitable for food.

It is these unsightly fruits that we have seen for many years on the shelves of our "abundant" vegetable stores. In addition, normal eggplant fruit should only have a green stem. A brown and dry stalk indicates that the eggplant has been plucked for a long time. There are no brown spots on fresh eggplant, and the fruit itself is not soft and slippery. Eggplant skin should not be wrinkled and dry. All of the above factors indicate old, overripe fruits, which, frankly, are generally inedible.

By the way, about the peel and blanching. We have, admittedly, a very widespread opinion that before cooking, eggplants must be peeled and blanched in order to get rid of the supposedly "obligatory" bitterness. In fact, this statement is only true for overripe eggplants. We were “fed” just like that during the entire post-revolutionary period.

This is probably why such recommendations appeared in cookbooks. Although, it is worth recognizing the fact that the heterotic eggplant hybrids that have appeared recently, for the most part, are genetically devoid of bitterness. Eggplants grown and picked on time with their own hands have no bitterness, and they can be safely sent to the pan right away.

Read the next part: Eggplant colors: a choice of varieties →

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