The eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a native of the tropics. The name eggplant was probably derived from the plant type that produces small white fruit resembling the chicken egg.This type has becoem popular in recent years as a novelty item.

The many varieties of eggplants lend themselves to all types of cuisine. Greek dishes use the eggplant as a meat substitute. Of course, Italian, Arabic, and Lebanese recipes have exciting and tasty uses for this beautiful vegetable.

The American and Japanese eggplants offer large, medium, and small sizes for cooking.The Japanese eggplant is about 7-8” long. The round Italian eggplants may be cooked whole. The eggplant is low in calories and readily absorbs the seasonings used.