Image by Farhad Ibrahimzade


The aubergine, or more colloquially, the eggplant, is an enigmatic fruit that many of us use and enjoy in our recipes. Despite its plain appearance, it possesses an array of unique characteristics that make it intriguing and multifaceted.


When cooked, the eggplant has a distinct spongy texture, absorbing the flavors of the surrounding ingredients to become a study in flavor. It is also surprisingly versatile, allowing chefs to create a variety of dishes with it, ranging from traditional Provençal ratatouille to Italian-style eggplant parmesan.

It turns out that the eggplant has many unexpected health benefits as well. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and antioxidants, helping to improve digestion and reduce the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. What's more, the phytonutrients present in the eggplant make it an effective source of anti-inflammatory support, making it an ideal choice for people suffering from inflammation-related conditions.

The eggplant can also be found on a variety of tables around the world thanks to its delectable taste. Its mild flavor and creamy texture make it a popular choice for those looking for something a bit different from the usual fare. Unlike other fruits, the eggplant lacks any tartness which makes it a more mellow and balanced dish.

All in all, the eggplant is an incredibly valuable addition to any kitchen. With its unique texture, versatility, nutrition, and taste, it is sure to offer culinary delights for a long time to come.

Eggplant dishes

A selection of Eggplant dishes.


Eggplant is one of the most versatilicious of vegetables, and a real treat for many hungry souls. Its texture can range from spongy to almost crunchy when fried. Its flavor, too, varies depending on how it's cooked; roasted it takes on an intense smokiness, while steaming will bring out more sweetness.

No matter which cooking technique you choose, eggplant is an excellent vessel to craft flavorful dishes with whatever ingredients you like. For starters, try brushing it in olive oil and herbs before roasting it in the oven. Or, slice it into thick rounds and sauté it in garlic and onions. Its inherent blandness helps it integrate seamlessly into whatever cuisine you're exploring.

When it comes to dietary preferences, eggplant is a great friend in the kitchen. Not only does it have a meaty bite, but vegans and vegetarians alike can enjoy it without breaking their diets. It's filling, nutritious, and pairs surprisingly well with a variety of proteins, from salmon to lentils.

To get the most out of your eggplant, consider pairing it with other bold flavors. For example, immerse it in a creamy tomato and basil sauce and pair it with a rich Italian cheese like mozzarella or Parmesan. Or, amp up its smokiness with a sprinkle of paprika or chili powder and serve it alongside a crisp-yet-tangy Greek salad.

Certain cuisines lend themselves particularly well with eggplant. Consider layering it in a luxurious Turkish moussaka or coating it in spices and chickpea flour for a classic Indian bhaji. And of course, no discussion of eggplant would be complete without mentioning the delicious Italian classic— eggplant parmesan.

However you choose to enjoy this delectable vegetable, it's sure to make your meals even more scrumptious. Keep experimenting and pushing the boundaries when it comes to eggplant dishes– you'll be surprised at how versatilicious it can be.

History of Eggplant

The mysterious eggplant is a vegetable that has been around for centuries. It is believed to have originated in India, although the exact origin of this enigmatic food source is still debated.

The name comes from the Romanization of the Tamil word "vatingana", which translates to "brinjal". Interestingly, the Latin word "melongena" was also used to refer to eggplants, which appears to be derived from the Greek phrase "mela-gena," meaning apple (mela) and offspring (gena).

It seems that eggplants were probably first domesticated and taken from the wild in India, with the earliest reference to them being found in a Sanskrit medical treatise dated to the 5th century BCE. From there, they spread throughout the Middle and Far East, where they became very popular in regions such as China, Japan, Persia, and Turkey.

The eggplant was introduced to Europe by Arabs during the Middle Ages, where it spread out from the Mediterranean region. It quickly became popular and was grown in many Italian gardens by the 16th century, with the Italians being credited with inventing the Parmigiana di Melenzane dish, a classic Italian casserole created with layered eggplant slices.

Today, the eggplant has become a staple in many cuisines, both exotic and familiar. Its versatility and heartiness make it a great vegetarian substitute for meat, and it can be prepared in a variety of unique ways, like stuffing, frying, baking, grilling, sautéing, and pickling.

At the end of the day, the eggplant continues to captivate us with its mysterious past and versatile applications. The next time you come across an eggplant, take a moment to ponder its enigmatic journey from the wilds of India all the way to your dinner plate.