Is easter eggplant edible?

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

I am growing easter eggplant, its a small plant with lavender blooms that gets eggplant the size of chicken eggs, but turns golden yellow.

I need to know if the eggplant is edible and how to cook them.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

There are actually two types of Easter Eggplant: s.melongena, and s.ovigerum

the fruits from S. ovigerum is start out white, but will turn yellow as it matures--this is the one you DON'T eat.

S. melongena is the one meant for culinary use, the fruits will stay white when mature.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

i may not be exactly right, so better wait until the more experienced DG'ers chime in

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

There is a running discussion as to whether Solanum ovigerum is edible. From my perspective it is but not very palatable. Primarily used as an ornamental. There is a small white S.melongena that is more palatable, but most vendors will carry the S. ovigerum as Easter Egg plant. It also turns yellow when ripe as do most if not all white eggplants.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

There is a running discussion as to whether Solanum ovigerum is edible. From my perspective it is but not very palatable. Primarily used as an ornamental. There is a small white S.melongena that is more palatable, but most vendors will carry the S. ovigerum as Easter Egg plant. It also turns yellow when ripe as do most if not all white eggplants.

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't want to put myself in danger to eat it if its not intended to be eaten, unless someone can prove they are safe as edibles.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Most of the weeds in gardens are edible, whether you want to chow down on them is another question. Easter Egg won't kill you but I doubt that you will find that it is very tasty.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have eaten them so they are edible but they taste terrible so I would not recommend them at all. If you want something edible grow another type of EP.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

I eat them, everyone I have shared them with eats them, all love the taste and we are all still here, if that helps

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

This sounds like the little orange ones that are sold by florists as miniature pumpkins. They're really eggplants that are grown in Africa and are much appreciated there but to us they are unbearably bitter. Balsam Pear aka bitter melon is another one. We grow it as an ornamental and think its horrible but in Asia its a delicacy.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

It all in the preparation I suppose.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Food preferences are both culturally acquired and developed tastes. Preparation only speaks to part of the equation. It helps to have an understanding of the cuisine where the fruit or vegetable originates. I grew up eating bitter melon, am not Asian and don't think it is horrible at all. I'm not able to weigh in on the Easter egg debate because I grow produce that fits the cuisine I am aiming for. There's no space for another pretty face in my garden.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

So true!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from terri_emory :
It all in the preparation I suppose.

Yes and no. Some salad greens grown and widely used in Europe are hardly found here in the US because Americans mostly consider them too bitter.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I think when you look at "American" culinary history and preparation it tends to be on the bland side. Other than salt and pepper and a couple herbs there really isn't much pizzaz. You know the roast, potatoes and green salad with a jello salad from the 1950's. Most of the "gourmet" good stuff that we are now getting here came from the ethnic populations that immigrated here starting at the turn of of the century. The thing is these were "normal" everyday foods and spices in their native countries and many were poor peoples foods. Fajitas are a perfect example. They came north with the migrant workers from Mexico. The only meat they could afford was skirt steak which is beyond tough so they marinated it all day while they were in the field and grilled it at night for dinner. Now skirt steak costs an arm and a leg and if you buy it in the restaurant you need to add a pint of blood to the arm and leg. Corn smut is another one. Look at all the different cheeses. When I was a kid the only place you'd find Marscapone was in Little Italy. Decent parmesian was only found were there was a big Italian population. I'm so grateful I grew up just outside of NewYork and was exposed early to things like dandelions and chicory and lots of other things that we're only now beginning to see outside of ethnic groceries.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Never thought I'd see oxtails skyrocket to the price it is now...

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Gymgirl

I remember my mother telling me how the butcher would give away things like spareribs and liver and neckbones. You know all the bits and pieces. Now they can cost more than steak! We're kosher so we really get hit hard on any kind of meat.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Spareribs? Wow I didn't know those were ever bits and pieces...

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

You could buy neckbones for $.05/lb. from our butcher.

Yehudith,
There used to be a tradition called "lagniappe" (lan-yap) in New Orleans. It translates to "a little something extra".

Whenever you visited a merchant and asked for "lagniappe," you might get 13 doughnuts instead of twelve, maybe an extra pork chop in the package, an extra piece of gum, etc.

Lagniappe at the butcher was a VERY good thing!

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

speaking of neckbones. In Sammy Davis Jr's autobiography he talks about a period in his life when he,his father and uncle couldn't get any gigs so they moved in with his grandmother who was a maid. In the morning she would put on a big pot of neckbones and greens to cook. Everyday they had neckbones and greens. It was because the neckbones cost next to nothing and she could pick through the veggie discards at the market and get the greens for free. I hate to think of the numbers of people who are having to live that way now.

Yehudith

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

My local grocery finally added a discount rack for aging produce instead of just throwing it out. When they put something out if you blink you'll miss it before it's snatched up, and this store doesn't serve any "poor" neighborhoods. Lots of apparently middle class folks are trimming every expense they can.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm enjoying this conversation....I don't care how much money you have there is never a reason to waste...my German Grandmother from the mid west always made neck bones and greens...when they killed a chicken they used everything possible.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Nicole

That's the sad thing. We live in one the richest county in the richest state in the U.S. The problem is most of the people here while making super incomes are very much dependent on the government. When the sequester kicked in that pushed a lot of people out of work, the shut down killed off a lot of the remainder. During the shutdown about 90% of my neighborhood was out of work and many of them haven't gone back. Average mortgage here is $3K and up. Most kids go to private school. We now have people living in houses worth a million dollars fighting over scraps in the grocery with welfare families and standing in line at the food bank. The consignment stores wealth is running over. I've been pushing forever to amend the home owner's rules to allow veggies in the front yard. I now have support because few can afford $3.50 for an heirloom tomato.

I tell my husband all the time thank G-d I was raised by a mother who grew up during the depression and the war. I can scrape together a decent meal out of almost nothing.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Actually, Maryland is the fourth richest in America with New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey ahead. Not to say you don't have bragging rights. My daughter lives in neighboring Takoma Park and has a front yard yarden where she grows and processes lots of food. She also goes to an organic farmer in, I believe, Frederick, Md. twice a year where she learned to slaughter lambs for her freezers. She buys bulk organic grains at a local co-op. She volunteer teaches food preservation and canning classes in downtown D.C. to residents in the Federal housing projects. It's not easy, but possible to survive a recession. We've done it more than once.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Maypop

That's interesting. There was a list posted on a popular news program here (not Fox) that had the federal listing of states by "richness" and Maryland came in first. I wondered why. I really like Takoma park, I have friends who just moved over there. The neighborhoods have such character.

The ridiculous part of this whole issue is the recession is actually over, its now the income gap that is causing a lot of our problems. We are fast reaching the situation that existed pre-1950's where unless you had your own garden ea ting fresh vegetables was considered to be a luxury. Just think there was a time when only the rich could afford fresh green veggies daily and the diet was mainly meat or starchy carbohydrates (bread, beans and other cereals). Well, guess we're back to the starchy carbohydrates.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

American culinary history is rich in the ethnic diversity of the immigrants that found their way here and continues to grow today. Italians, Greeks, Jews, Poles, Armenians, Japanese and others who reached our shores at the turn of the last century provided an infinite larder of foodways. We continue the tradition in the later half of the century with the immigration of Cubans, other Caribbeans, Russians, Koreans and Vietnamese, just to name a few. The historically grounded foods of New Orleans, Lowcountry, deep South, New England and the American Southwest are anything but bland.

Providing Keith with good eggplant recipes might reduce his carb intake and address the issue requested. :) I'm going to look around.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

May

Here's a great eggplant recipie that marvelous in the summer. Its from the Provencal.

Eggplant, zuccini, red peppers about a pound each

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

dijon mustard

garlic

basil

I'm rather vague on the amounts for the vinegarette because I've been making this for ever actually eversince I was first married and living in Europe and tend to eyeball anyway. Taste as you go.

Slice the the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise, salt, let sit til soft, rinse drain and dry. Brush eggplant and zucchini on either side and grill.

Grill the peppers until the skin is black and skin them. SAVE THE JUICE. cut into slices about 2 fingers wide.

Mix pepper juice with vinegarette ingredients. Oil a 2 quart loaf pan or anyother that lets you get at least 3-4 layers or more. Layer in the veggies with vinegarette between each layer ending with the peppers. sprinkle on the chopped basil. Pour on any left over viegarette.

cover the pan over tightly, weight, refrigerate for a couple hours or you can leave it at room temp. til serving.

cut in slices to serve. If its been weighted enough and you use a sharp knife it will come out in lovely slices.

This really is best with real summer veggies, not the stuff from the grocery in the middle of February

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

This is another one I learned in France. It supposedly goes back to the 14th century and was a favorite dish of the Pope when the papacy was in Avignon.

asian eggplants about 3 pounds or so and the same of tomatoes cut in quarters

shallots

garlic at least 5 cloves

4 large eggs

slivered basil

cut eggplants in half and score through the meat and back face down in a 475 oven. Scrape out the pulp when its cooked through. Drop the oven to 350. Oil a souffle pan

Stir the shallots and garlic in a hot skillet until sof then add in the eggplant with salt and pepper.cook until itstarts to stick to the pan. Run it through a cuisinart with a garlic and the eggs. Adjust the taste.

Pour into the souffle pan. Place in a pan of water and pop into the oven and bake until its set.

Take the tomatoes. Stir the garlic in a pan til it starts to soften then add tomatoes, some sugar, and salt. Cook and stir until it thickens and sticks to the pan. Run through the cuisinart and taste. add the basil and reheat.

Unmold (the proper way, sometimes I just scoop it out) and top it with the sauce and sprinkle on some of the fresh basil.

This can be served hot or cold.

If you'd like a couple eggplant recipies from either northern or sub-saharan Africa just let me know
and I'll be happy to give them to you.






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