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Fengyuan eggplant is characterized by its long, thin cylindrical deep purple fruits with skin so thin that it does not require peeling. The fruit's flesh is creamy white and lacks the trademark bitterness associated with eggplants. The flavor is mild and insipid until it is cooked. Then the flesh develops a rich, sweet and complex flavor. Ripe Fengyuan eggplants are shiny and firm to the touch. Dull skin and brown seeds may be an indication that the fruit is overripe.
Fengyan eggplant is harvested in the spring and summer months.
Fengyuan eggplant is botanically a part of Solanum melongena and a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. A Taiwanese heirloom the Fengyuan is one of the longest eggplant varieties on the market and can grow over a foot in length.
Fengyuan eggplants contain rich levels of anthocyanins, a pigment not only responsible for the fruit's skin coloring, but it is also loaded with antioxidant properties. Research suggests that anthocyanins have strong healing properties in vitro, though it is yet to be definitively determined how well the anthocyanins, once digested, will express their value for human health benefit.
As Fengyuan eggplant is native to Taiwan and heavily used for culinary purposes in Asia, many recipes reflect the region. Fengyuan eggplant is often utilized in stir-fries or roasted. It can also be grilled and stewed. Its sweet flavor makes it an ideal eggplant for slicing into rounds and pickling as well. Complimentary ingredients include cumin, garlic, ginger, cilantro, fermented beans, chiles, soy sauce, miso, vinegar, mushrooms, onions, sesame oil, chicken, pork and summer vegetables such as tomatoes and squashes. To store, keep in a cool dry place and use within two to three days.
Fengyuan eggplant has long been a popular eggplant in Asian gardening and cuisine. It has also had a growing popularity in American gardening culture, particularly on the competition circuit as a result of its ability to grow exceptionally long when compared to other eggplant types.
Eggplant is native to the Indian subcontinent. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia prior to recorded history. The first documentation of eggplant is found within the Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural manual completed in 544. Fengyuan eggplant is native to Taiwan and named after the district it originated in. Though, still heavily popular in Taiwan and China, the Fengyuan eggplant varieties have become a mainstay in newer regions throughout the Western hemisphere. Fengyuan eggplants will thrive and be a prolific fruiter in a variety of environments ranging from drought prone to hot and humid.
Recipes that include Fengyuan Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Veggie Belly||Spicy Szechuan Eggplant with Tofu|
|Steamy Kitchen||Stuffed Miso Eggplant|