Eggplants are one of those vegetables that I did not come to appreciate until later on in my life. Boy was I missing out! These delicious deep purple hued beauties offer a unique texture to any dish and have become a regular go-to when frequenting the grocery store. To honor the years I spent ignoring my new-found eggplant friend, here are some fun facts about eggplants!
- Eggplants aren’t really vegetables, they’re berries (who knew!)
- Eggplants and tomatoes are actually related, though they both belong to the nightshade family.
- A study published in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that eggplant has by far the highest level of nicotine of any vegetable. But it’s such a small amount that there’s really no need for concern. You would have to eat between 20 and 40 pounds of eggplant to consume the amount of nicotine you’d get smoking one cigarette.
- People in the U.K. called eggplants aubergines. The word “aubergine” goes all the way back to the ancient Indian language Sanskrit.
- The eggplant is believed to have originated in India, where it is considered to be the King of Vegetables.
- The word “eggplant” that we use in North America comes from British-colonized India, where at the time, a small, white, egg-like variety of the vegetable was all the rage.
- In Renaissance Italy, it was called a mala insana or “crazy apple”.
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