Seasonal shoutout Eggplant

Feast on 10 fast facts about this purple fruit (yes, it's a fruit)…

1. Eggplant is one of the most versatile fruits. It’s deep-fried in Italy, stewed in French ratatouille, baked into Greek moussaka, curried in India, pickled in Spain and blended to make Middle Eastern baba ghanoush.

2. The eggplant is also known as aubergine, brinjal, melongene and guinea squash.

3. This vegetable got its name from 18th century varieties, which resembled goose eggs!

4. Eggplant is a non-toxic type of ‘nightshade’, the same family as tomatoes and potatoes.

5. China is the top producer of eggplant, followed by India, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

6. Eggplant actually contains more nicotine than any other edible plant (yup, nicotine). However, you’d have to munch on about 9kg of the stuff in order to ingest the same amount of nicotine that is found in one cigarette!

7. The eggplant is classified as a berry because it contains numerous small seeds.

8. If you’re growing eggplant in your kitchen garden, avoid planting it in areas where you’ve previously grown tomatoes, potatoes or pepper, as it may become infested.

9. The seeds in eggplant have a very bitter taste. Most people choose to remove the bitterness by ‘degorging’ - dredging chopped or sliced eggplant through salt, leaving to soak, then rinsing and draining.

10. More than four million acres across the world are devoted to the cultivation of eggplants!