Saturday, August 13, 2022

History of eggplant

Eggplant is known for its fleshy, meaty texture. The eggplant is a nightshade vegetable, like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. It originally comes from India and Asia, where it still grows wild. Some of the earliest written evidence for the use of eggplant is from the Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas, Ayurvedic texts written about 100 BC that describe the health benefits of eggplant.

Historians believe the British coined the term eggplant during their occupation of India. Aubergine and brinjal are other names for it. The Spaniards of the 16th century called eggplants berengenas, or "apples of love," while some of the botanists of northern Europe of the same period called the species Mala insana, or "mad apple," because they thought that eating it would make a person insane.

Eggplants made their way to Europe with the Islamic empire in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Spanish Moors introduced the eggplant into southern and Eastern Europe where it became very popular. In northern Europe it was first mentioned by Albert of Cologne in the 13th century, but not until the middle of the 16th century was it well known there.

Eggplant was among the vegetables carried from Spain to America at the time of the Age of Exploration (15-17th centuries), and was reported grown in Brazil before 1650. In the United States purple and white varieties for ornament were described in 1806. For many years, Americans were suspicious of the plant because it belonged to the Nightshade family, of Deadly Nightshade fame.
History of eggplant