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General information and discussion about cultivating eggplants/aubergines.

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Old February 16, 2018   #1
mensplace
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Default Bitterness and seeds

When I have used eggplant in the past it has always be the occasional huge, black, pulpy, soft, thick black skinned variety available in supermarkets. Mostly, I have cooked them in the Mediterranean or Middle Eastern manner. Even when I grilled the skin they were bitter.

I have never grown my own, but want to start this year. I read about the new Fairy Tale variety and ordered one pack. Are there others I should consider? Most of the seed racks seem to be dominated by the same big black ones.

Are there any that really have flavor and a firm texture with few seeds without the bitterness.
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Old February 16, 2018   #2
KarenO
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Homegrown eggplant is as different from store bought as a homegrown tomato is.
The fairy tale series if I am thinking of the same ones are miniature? Very cute but not much to eat. Black beauty, Rosa Bianca, Casper, all good ones to start with, Asian ones are nice too, thin edible skin few seeds not bitter.
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Old February 16, 2018   #3
Labradors2
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When you grow your own, you can pick them before the skin has lost its sheen. I never need to peel mine or subject them to a salt water soak, and I've grown some of the bigger ones such as Black Beauty, Diamond, Rosa Bianca as well as the Asian ones which are long and thin.

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Old February 16, 2018   #4
mensplace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Homegrown eggplant is as different from store bought as a homegrown tomato is.
The fairy tale series if I am thinking of the same ones are miniature? Very cute but not much to eat. [
KarenO
NOOOOO!!!!!!!

ARGHH#%$#$^^&& Just dern!

I thought I had selected the perfect one. It's hard enough getying into and out of the car, using two canes to get to the seed rack and then drop to the floor since I can't stand, BUT NOW THIS! This was my weekly outing.

Now to start all over.

I just want a good eggplant for Italian, Greek and M.E. cooking that is not bitter. Thanks for letting me know NOW, before harvest time!

Last edited by mensplace; February 16, 2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old February 16, 2018   #5
rhines81
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I eat a total of 3 eggplant dishes a year, but I grow them anyhow Thick skinned ones from the store are horrible. But sometimes when you grow them yourself, depending on the weather, etc... you can get thick skinned ones, just like tomatoes.
Grow what you bought this year and gain the experience, you might just love them. You probably will enjoy them anyhow, just because you grew them yourself. If the skin is thick just peel it off when you cook them. Enjoy and grow.
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Old February 16, 2018   #6
Zeedman
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You might want to try one of the white eggplant varieties, such as Casper or Gretel. I grow Casper, and it has virtually no bitterness. It has a very temperamental yield, though; a friend grows Gretel, which seems to bear more reliably year to year.
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Old February 17, 2018   #7
HudsonValley
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Another vote for Casper. Delicious!
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Old February 17, 2018   #8
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There are new hybrids that are made for low seeds. The ones I buy at the market (east europe) barely have anything that resembles seeds. Also, they shouldn't really have seeds because you're supposed to pick them when the seeds are still small and soft. The older it gets the bitterer it becomes. When you buy one it should be shiny and elastic like some thick sponge. That's how we use them in eastern europe (which is similar to greek). Probably avoid italian varieties, they absolutely love everything bitter. From what I tested white ones seem less bitter then classic purple.
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Old February 17, 2018   #9
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Tomato Growers has a number of asian types, most are listed as not bitter. Infering that other varietes are bitter IMO. I am testing one this year, so no personal experience yet.
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Old February 17, 2018   #10
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I grew lavender touch one year best eggplant I ever had hands down Hybrid cant find it anymore in the plant section.

Here is the beauty of an eggplant VS tomato.
You dont have to pick them at full size so you dont have to put up with big hard seeds and tough skin.
Think summer squash.
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Old February 18, 2018   #11
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I researched the Lavender one you mentioned and found many rave reviews, but no source. Next I found one site that listed it and many other vegetable varieties that in bold letters said DO NOY BUY THESE VARIETIES asserting associations with Monsanto and an allegedly affiliated seed company and alleged affiliations with Roundup. That would kill the use of any varieties by the organic folks..good or bad. Now there are other lavender varieties with new names. I don't know the real facts in the case.

Funny that only one eggplant was an AAS winner since the early thirties as alleged by one article.

A GREAT shame that many eggplants and their many, many uses are so largely unknown here. In Europe, the Middle East, and Asia there are countless vegetables and fruits that never make it to our shelves.

I once had worked with a group of pear growers throughout France, after completion of ALL forms and licenses and got clearances for a wide variety of Poiree Pear varieties that were their finest. All of those precious cuttings were destroyed by one man in Beltsville saying they were not allowing more that year. Months of work destroyed needlessly even though they had been licensed and cleared.
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Old February 18, 2018   #12
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My understanding of AAS is that the plant is required to produce well over many climates and many soils types. Perhaps eggplants dont meet this requirement.

Im hoping someone with greater knowledge will comment on this.
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Old February 18, 2018   #13
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Eggplant just isn't popular enough here in the US from what I can tell.
At least where I live.
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Old February 18, 2018   #14
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All too true, but if folks were more aware of its uses, had greater access to its many other varieties, and ate more fresh vegetables, that would have to be good. Tt's a shame we don't have so many of the good varieties of fruits and veggies of so many other countries. Here you can drive to find them at int'l markets, but that's a 60 mile drive through the city traffic.
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Old February 18, 2018   #15
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Most people are food ignorant dont cook and dont want to learn or explore.
That is the plane and simple truth.
I see this by what people have in their grocery carts.
Not ALL people but most.
Not many people here know this now but when we moved from Texas to Missouri the first thing my mom did the next spring was help me start eggplant seeds on my request from looking at seed catalogs.
I was about to go into the third grade the next year and it was my job to take care of the eggplants.
There must have been 20 or more of them.
They were ((my)) eggplants.
But those were my eggplants and by darn I wanted to see and taste them.
We had a ton of eggplants.
I also wanted ducks lots of ducks and I got them too and they were ((my)) ducks.
And crazy looking chickens with ear feathers that laid blue eggs called Araucanas.

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