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Bites of History: Apple of love

Cookwork Perspective:  Eggplant is so flavorful and abundant.  It's also versatile and can be found in a variety of cuisines.  How do you prepare it?

Bites of History: Apple of love

Ever wonder how the eggplant was named? This berry (yes, botanically it’s a berry) received its English name because the first known eggplants were small, white and oval and looked much like goose eggs.

Eggplant probably originated wild in Africa, but was first cultivated in India more than 4,000 years ago. Multiple references to it are found in Chinese literature, the earliest of which is in the Tong Yue, dated to 59 BCE.

The Moors brought this strange new food to northern Africa, and then to Spain in the eighth century. It eventually found its way to Italy in the 14th century. Widely consumed in the Middle East, Italy, Greece and southern Spain, the eggplant gained a reputation as an aphrodisiac, and was often referred to as the “apple of love.”


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