02 Oct2009

Eggplants, Get It?

by Marketman


Because they look like eggs. Hence, eggplant. :) For 30 years or so, I only knew of purple eggplants, and only one or two varieties of purple at that. Having taken but never learned much of the French language, I always thought “aubergine” was a really nice name for them, and the color aubergine or purple of sorts, made sense. But about 15 years ago, I saw my first “real” eggplant, a variety that quite literally looked like a large ivory white egg.


I have written about eggplants before, with several varieties photographed in a previous post, here. And the photo above adds several more types of eggplants to the album… Fascinating stuff, eggplants. :)



  1. silly lolo says:

    Eggplants? Fascinating? Ummm…maybe you need to take a break from all these foodie goodies! That’s OK tho’, you’re still the best ever!

    Oct 2, 2009 | 8:05 pm


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  3. noes says:

    I’ve never see white eggplant ever in my life.

    Oct 2, 2009 | 8:23 pm

  4. Ernie says:

    I’ve seen white eggplants before but they’re usually round and small. I haven’t bought them since I’m not sure if it can be cooked the same way as the purple ones.

    Have you cooked with these before MM?

    Oct 2, 2009 | 9:36 pm

  5. michelle o says:

    They look rather pretty.

    Oct 2, 2009 | 10:32 pm

  6. Lou says:

    I love white eggplant. I buy them whenever they are available in the Farmers Market. For me, they taste sweeter than the purple ones.

    Oct 2, 2009 | 11:04 pm

  7. betty q. says:

    Eggplants come now in different shades of purple, pinks, GREEN and white. I usually plant the variety chosen as AAS. There is a vrieryt called Fairy Tale that lived up to the criteria of AAS. They produced small eggplants like the Chinese ones only smaller which was perfect size for individual serving of TALONG RELLENO. The only thing, my boys can gobble up 4 each of those in no time at all which was OK since even 1 plant yielded a loooooooot of eggplants…..and I planted 6!

    Lou, try planting Fairy Tale egglant next year. You don’t need to slice them like the long ones for PAKBET! I harvested the ones for PAKBET when the eggplants were about 2 inches and cooked them in the PAKBET whole!

    Oct 2, 2009 | 11:16 pm

  8. thelma says:

    i planted those last year. this year, i planted japanese eggplants which i like
    the best. they don’t have any seeds at all. with seven plants, i have harvested a
    lot and was able to share with patients and friends.

    Oct 2, 2009 | 11:47 pm

  9. Edwin, Cali says:

    White eggplant?? Hmm, never seen a white eggplant in my whole life. Does it taste the same as purple eggplant?

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:30 am

  10. Bong says:

    Wow! I’ve heard of white eggplants but this is the first time I’ve seen them! Thanks!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 6:22 am

  11. Lou says:

    White eggplants are supposed to be more delicate in flavour…too bad I have yet to see them in the local Save-on

    Betty, nice meeting you yesterday! And again thank you for the ensaymada. SUPERB!

    I adore eggplants – in pakbet, or grilled with kamatis and bagoong, or fried and sprinkled with salt, or baked up and smothered with cheese! Will have to plant my own next year. I like the sound of Fairy Tale.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 7:10 am

  12. Marketman says:

    Ernie, no, I actually haven’t cooked with them, nor have I tasted them. They can be cooked in the same manner as other eggplants.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 7:49 am

  13. Divina says:

    They are really fascinating indeed. I’ve only seen a few small varieties in green and purple color. Eggplant is my mom’s favorite vegetable. Seeing vegetables in different varieties makes our life more exciting. Thanks MM

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:01 pm

  14. Gener says:

    Eggplant can be prepared in many simple delicious ways, with pakbet, with scrumbled egg, with salads, or fry or simply boil it! or even can go on anyway you wanted! Arabs loves eggplant as they used it as “Hommous AL Buteingel” they called it.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:26 pm

  15. Marketfan says:

    and all the while I’ve been looking for purple eggs…:-)

    Oct 3, 2009 | 2:51 pm

  16. wyatt says:

    There’s this essay in Gastronomica Spring 2003. It was written by Mark Molton “Somdel Squaymous”. He was tracing the British name “aubergine”.

    “It was derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “the vegetable that prevents farting” or, more literally, “the vegetable that cures the wind-disorder.” This Sanskrit ancestor was vatingah, which was borrowed by Persian as badingan, which in turn was borrowed by Arabic as al-badingan, the al simply being the Arabic definite article meaning “the.” This Arabic name then became the Spanish alberengena, which French adopted as aubergine in the early seventeenth century. Finally, in the late eighteenth century, the French name of the plant was adopted by the English, who might have stuck with the name “eggplant” had they known the actual meaning of “aubergine.”

    Oct 3, 2009 | 4:39 pm

  17. Gener says:

    Simple but Bold explanation from WYATT, i simply dont know that? from sanskrit to persian,arabs,french and english! quite amazing sources…there are even more type of this eggplant which may not known well, like the tiny as marbles(holen) which is expensive abroad and actually wild in the philippines, i tried to taste it and its too bitter even worst than ampalaya!…why they like it i dont know?..

    Oct 3, 2009 | 5:01 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    wyatt, thanks for that, I have learned another thing today… vegetable that prevents farting. I love it. But I wonder at what point, the color took on the name, presumably after the 17th century and later, to mean the purple we associate with aubergine. So what happened to the white versions? Did they just become less common? According to Alan Davidson, eggplants originated in India, then at some point became common in Europe, but it’s still a mystery why the purple ones and the name aubergine have prevailed there, but eggplants have prevailed in North America… there are white eggplants in Spain, but mostly they are purplish in Europe now. fascinating, see silly lolo? And while they are believed to be from India, they are first mentioned in Chinese worths from the 5th century AD, according to Davidson, and so my next question is, what is eggplant in Chinese? Does it sound anything like talong? Because now I am curious where talong is derived from… :)

    Here is a link to another site with an amazing number of photos of eggplants from around the world.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 5:57 pm

  19. Gener says:

    Laotian eggplant! thats the one im talking,,,thanks for the link!

    Oct 3, 2009 | 6:48 pm

  20. Lava Bien says:

    Kinda like my experience when I first saw white asparagus, I thought they only come in green but they are actually very common in whites especially in Western Europe and Latin America.
    Nice talong MM.

    Oct 3, 2009 | 7:16 pm

  21. Ingrid says:

    wow eggplants! now all i want to eat is tortang talong. MM, where can i purchase the white eggplants?

    Oct 4, 2009 | 1:56 pm

  22. cumin says:

    Thanks, wyatt. Maybe we should make sure to have an eggplant dish every time we serve beans? :-)

    Oct 4, 2009 | 7:05 pm

  23. joyce says:

    eggplant is called qiezi (茄子) in mandarin chinese. ive only ever seen the purple ones here, will be on the lookout for the otherworldly looking white ones.

    Oct 5, 2009 | 1:30 am

  24. Belgin says:

    I visited a local market in Bangkok last year and I was amazed when I saw the green long eggplants.

    I became intrigued how the taste will be so I bought few pieces and cooked it just the way we make our “Tortang Talong” and grilled eggplant salad, it was a fabulous hearty vegetarian meal paired with steamed jasmine rice.

    Oct 5, 2009 | 11:33 am

  25. may ramos says:

    theyre so cute!!

    Oct 5, 2009 | 2:35 pm

  26. sheena says:

    The white eggplant on the picture is similar to our local eggplant called “inaraw-araw”. I like boiled eggplant especially when it is paired with “bagoong balayan”. Yum yum!!!

    Oct 5, 2009 | 2:54 pm

  27. chrissy says:

    My favorite vegetable! Torta, steamed/grilled & served with bagoong or in a salad with tomatoes & green mangoes, in kare-kare, eggplant parmigiana or moussaka! *drools*

    Oct 5, 2009 | 9:39 pm

  28. Chloe says:

    I never get tired of eating eggplants! The best dish for me is poki-poki but i like them torta, grilled eggplant salad, eggplant caviar, melanzane, or just simply fried…. ahhh heaven!

    Oct 7, 2009 | 5:47 pm

  29. chef kiko says:

    Sheena , I guess you can call the purple one “ginabi-gabi” hehehe

    Oct 10, 2009 | 10:08 am

  30. juice says:

    hala, hingaon kog talong. favorite nako ang talong. sinugba, inun on, salad, pirito, omelet, adobo, etc etc. talong fans club diay ta? isagol sa sinigang, etc.

    Oct 14, 2009 | 4:07 pm

  31. sille says:

    i planted eggplant but got no eggs? so i planted the chicken to see what i will get. funeee

    Oct 17, 2009 | 5:29 pm

  32. droL says:

    Tortang talong is my favorite dish made out of eggplant. Grilled one or two until the skin turns black or when it is already easy for you to peel it off, and then dip them in a bowl of seasoned, battered raw eggs (2 pieces of eggs will do). And then fry ’em one by one under medium fire and, voila!

    I always crave for this!

    Anybody here knows how to fry sliced eggplants the right way? Because when I do, they always shrink and the skin gets rubbery. They’re supposed to be a bit crispy, juicy and resilient. Please help? Thanks a lot.

    Nov 7, 2009 | 7:40 pm

  33. hungry mike says:

    my fave is a dish from ilocos, which is a specialty of my mom, roasted, then sauteed in a little oil, along with garlic, onion, tomatoes, and fish paste, lastly, mixed with fresh egg when the dish is removed from heat. don’t know the right spelling, sir MM, correct me if I’m wrong, think it’s spelled poqui – poqui, good as accompaniement for some grilled meat or as a bruschetta topping then topped with cheese, hehehehe, can’t wait to ask my mom to cook it again!!!

    Apr 28, 2010 | 11:27 pm


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