The most common variety is egg-shaped with a shiny purple skin and a white fleshy interior, but other varieties may vary in shape, colour and size with white, yellow or green skin and miniature forms.
Also known as aubergine, eggplant is a popular ingredient in Indian, European and Middle Eastern cuisines in which it is used to make curries, dips, moussaka and pasta dishes. If eaten raw, eggplant has a spongy texture and a bitter taste, but it softens and develops a rich flavour when cooked.
Many recipes require raw sliced eggplant to be salted, rinsed and drained before cooking to remove the bitterness.
Eggplant contains fibre, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.
The best way to store it is at room temperature in a dry place, away from direct sunlight. It is also best to keep eggplant away from bananas, tomatoes and melons, as these are producers of ethylene – a natural gas which causes some produce to ripen and to which eggplant is quite sensitive.
A number of stallholders sell eggplant at both the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings and the Willunga Farmers’ Market on Saturdays; two of the Showground Market stallholders are certified organic. N&M Tsimiklis also sells eggplant at the Prospect Farmers’ Market.
Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market runs on Sundays from 9am – 1pm at the Adelaide Showground, Leader Street, Wayville. Prospect Farmers’ Market is located next to Prospect Town Hall on the corner of Vine Street Plaza and Prospect Road and runs on Thursdays from 3pm – 7pm. Willunga Farmers’ Market is held on Saturday mornings from 8am – 12.30pm.
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