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General information and discussion about cultivating eggplants/aubergines.

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Old May 23, 2006   #1
tjg911
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Default which variety to buy?

i grew ichiban last year and liked it. naturally the greenhouse isn't carrying it this year!

so, 2 plants, each in a 5 gallon container, in nw connecticut, i'd like some advise if possible before friday when i want to buy these 2 plants. the choices are slim!

i'm leaning towards little fingers 14" tall, 65/68 days, heavy (?) producer sounds good for a container variety, fast producer.

lavendar touch at 63/66 dtm sounds good but is it a large plant? flavor? it's basically white with a lavendar blush. my guess is all eggplants regardless of color taste about the same, is that true? compare to little fingers?

dusky and classic looks in size and dtm to be like black beauty. all 3 produce fruits that are too big, too many days to wait for them.

thanks,

tom
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Old May 23, 2006   #2
nctomatoman
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Lavendar touch is certainly a favorite. I find pale skinned eggplant a bit sweeter/less bitter than dark purple/black skinned. Orient Express from Johnny's is a fine variety. If you like Ichiban, try Machiaw - even better to my mind, again from Johnny's. Their Green Giant is also wonderful. I have 15 eggplant planted in pots this year...looking healthy - can't wait!
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Old May 24, 2006   #3
tjg911
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thanks craig. i never found any eggplant to be bitter even store bought in the winter. the ichiban i was initially peeling then stopped and i just fried them with the skin on. i do peel those winter store bought eggplants but even those never struck me as bitter.

the varieties you name sound fine but it's way too late to start anything from seed. the selection of varieties at local greenhouses is very limited. most have black beauty or classic. both are rather long dtm but i do realize that the fruits can be picked at any point in their growth not necessarily just at full size. one place has dusky, little finger, lavendar touch and classic, the best selection of all. the place that had 6 or 8 varieties last year where i bought ichiban has just black beauty and 'some white' eggplant. last year they had neon, pingtong (sp) long and 2 purple varieties i found in tgs catalog. so i hoped they'd have those again. another place has generic names like 'a long thin type' an 'italian type' (whatever that means!) and a white. that reminds me of when i used to buy onion plants before i changed to buying seeds so i could get exactly what i wanted - there was a sweet spanish, a red and a yellow! no names, no idea about storage, taste or size, just generic names. another greenhouse has a no name variety that has a number like 2852, great that tells me a lot!

at this point i like your comment about lavendar touch. i think i'll get 1 lavendar touch and 1 little finger. it will be interesting to compare the growth of the plants, their vigor and their taste. who knows, perhaps i'll like the light eggplants.

is there a difference in flavor between the black, purple, lavendar, white, orange, green and yellow eggplants?

like everything else if you want something specific chances are you have to start it from seed.

tom
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Old May 24, 2006   #4
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Ah, Tom, if only you lived near me - I started 40 or so varieties, but haven't been able to "cultivate" a real interest in them yet around here!

Have you looked at the various eggplant pics on my web site??

I can't comment on flavor differences, because to me, eggplant tastes distinctively like eggplant, and I enjoy that flavor tempered with other flavors.
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Old May 25, 2006   #5
tjg911
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yes! i wish we were closer. not for the tomato plants because i truly enjoy growing them myself, but when it comes to peppers and eggplant, well you are THE man! also, i could also go to the tomato tasting and sample as many tomato varieties in 1 weekend that would take me decades to grow myself. oh well...

no i never have looked at the eggplant portion of your website, why do you ask? i'm sure the address is at tville but a quick look at the forums and the eggplant forum topics did not indicate the address. would you mind posting it?

as to flavor, are you are saying all eggplants have a similiar flavor? unless you eat a plain grilled eggplant using them in dishes does not alllow you to really notice taste differences. but, and this part i do know, because they absorb flavors from whatever you cook them with they add great flavor, depth and texture to those dishes. that has been my experience. no matter what i mix eggplant with, i like what it does for that dish. as a vegetarian, eggplant is truly a 'meaty' experience.

tom
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Old May 26, 2006   #6
Sorellina
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Ciao Tom-

Italian-type eggplants can be various shapes, but for the most part, I think the term refers to the most common shape, that being a narrow tear-drop, not quite as narrow as Asian eggplants or as long, with the bottom being wider than the top. As far as taste is concerned, the white varieties are more 'mushroomy' in flavour to me, not as strong as the very dark purple varieties, but I like both.

I'm actually growing more eggplants than Craig, lol, never thought that would happen! I make a TON of caponata, fritti, parmesan, and other Italian eggplant dishes and I've found that my eggplant needs haven't kept up with my harvest. That being said, this year, I've planted 16 plants each of Antigua, Violetta Lunga, and Casper.

Cheers and buona fortuna!
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Old May 26, 2006   #7
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Tom, here is where to find my eggplant pictures -

http://nctomatoman.topcities.com/EggplantTable.htm
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