Edited by Ho Dinh Hai Long An - Vietnam Updated: 13/9/2014
1- Introduction to Eggplant
1.1- Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Angiosperms Division: Eudicots Class: Asterids Order: Solanales Family: Solanaceae Subfamily: Solanoideae Tribe: Solaneae Family: Solanaceae Genus: Solanum Species: Solanum melongenaL. (1)The Genus Solanum has more than 4,000 described species. In which has 1,328 species worldwide with 800 accepted species along with economically important species such as the potato (S. tuberosum), the tomato (S. lycopersicum) and the aubergine (S. melongena). (2) The Species Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal. The plant is native to the Indian Subcontinent. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory. Different varieties of the plant produce fruit of different size, shape, and color, though typically purple. It bears a fruit of the same name (commonly either "eggplant" in American, Australian English and sometimes Canadian English, or "aubergine" in British English and Canadian English) that is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille. The fruit flesh is smooth, as in the related tomato. The numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible. Eggplant is used in the cuisine of many countries. The fruit is botanically classified as a berry and contains numerous small, soft seeds which are edible, but have a bitter taste because they contain nicotinoidalkaloids (being a relative of tobacco).
1.2- Scientific name and Vernaculars + Scientific names: Solanum melongenaL. + Synonyms: Solanum album Noronha. Solanum cumingii Dunal. Solanum insanum L. Solanum longum Roxb. Solanum melanocarpum Dunal. Solanum melongenum St.-Lag. Solanum oviferum Salisb. Solanum ovigerum Dunal. Solanum pressum Dunal. Solanum trongum Poir. Melongena ovata Mill. + English names: Eggplant (USA), Aubergine (UK.), Melongen, Melongene, Garden egg, Guinea squash, Large-fruited eggplant. + French names: Aubergine, Bringelle, Mélongène, Melanjan, +Vietnamese names: Ca Tim (Cà Tím), Ca Nâu (Cà Nâu), Ca Dai De (Cà Dái Dê). + Other Asean Vernaculars: - Indonesian: Encung, Terung. - Malaysian: Brinjal, Terong, Terung, Encung, Tiung (Sumatra). - Philippines: - - Burmese: Kayan - Thai: Makhua, Makhuea pro, Ma khuea yao, Makhua chan, Ma khuea khao. - Laotian: Khüa ham maaz, Khüa hlèèz, Khüa poom. - Khmer: Trâb vèèng, Trâb put lonhoong. + Related species: - Tomato (Solanim lycopersicum) - Vietnamese: Ca chua (Cà chua). - Gboma Eggplant (Solanum macrocarponL.) – Vietnamese: Ca Phao (Cà Pháo)
1.3- History and Etymology The first known written record of the Eggplant is found in Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. The Arabic name is the common source of almost all European names for this plant, but through two distinct paths of transmission, with the melongene family coming through the eastern Mediterranean, and the aubergine family through the western Mediterranean. The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. A book on agriculture by Ibn Al-Awwam in 12th century Arabic Spain described how to grow aubergines. There are records from later medieval Catalan and Spanish. The aubergine is unrecorded in England until the 16th century and it was descripted in An English botany book in 1597. That form came into medieval Latin as melongena, which was used in the botanical works of Tournefort and Linnaeus. Though melongene has become obsolete in the standard English, as has the Frenchmelanjan, it persists in the Caribbean Englishmelongene or meloongen. Some 18th-century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen's eggs, hence the name "eggplant". Nowadays it is commonly known either "eggplant" in American, Australian English and sometimes Canadian English, or "aubergine" in British English and Canadian English. It names are also known as melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal.