When an uncurled fern frond first peaks through the soil in the spring, it is called a "fiddlehead". Fiddlehead ferns offer an earthy, nutty flavor that has been likened to the taste of asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms.
Hairy eggplant may be eaten raw by themselves or cooked in dishes to add a touch of piquant sweet and sourness -
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Filipino eggplants are readily distinguished by their trademark violet blushed skin with green hues at stem and blossom end. They maintain the long and lean appearance of Asian eggplants as well as the rich depth of flavor that is developed when cooked. The flesh is creamy white with just a trace of seeds. The size of Filipino eggplants once harvested varies widely. Not only do eggplants mature individually but many farmers prefer fruits that are young.
Filipino eggplant is harvested in the late summer through the fall.
Eggplants are the second most important fruit crop of the Solanaceae family after the tomato. Filipino eggplant is the given name for a variety of Asian eggplant, Solanum melongena, which are cultivated in the Philippines. Eggplant's commercial importance within the Philippines cannot be overestimated. It sustains farming communities as one of the main vegetable crops in the Philippines.
The slender shape of Filipino eggplant allows for faster cook times than larger more rotund eggplants. Fast and hot applications such as pan frying, sautéing and grilling enhance the fruit's texture and flavor most optimally. They can be sliced into rounds or diced or hollowed out, stuffed and baked. Complimentary ingredients include cumin, garlic, ginger, cilantro, fermented beans, chiles, soy sauce, vinegar, mushrooms, onions, sesame oil, eggs, chicken, pork and summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and squashes. To store, keep Filipino eggplants in a cool dry place and use within two to three days.
Eggplants such as the Filipino are a signature ingredient in the Filipino omelet preparation, tortang talong. Grilled eggplants impart a smoky depth of flavor to this traditional dish featuring only a handful of ingredients.
Unlike most of the Solanum genus, the eggplant and its relatives are from the Old World - eggplant's wild relatives are from Africa. Eggplant's domesticated ancestry can be traced to India, China and Malaysia. Filipino eggplant may actually be native to India, yet it is a staple of the Philippine culture. Although it is primarily grown within the Philippines, it has a large presence in Filipino agriculture throughout the globe. Where there are Filipino communities, there is Filipino eggplant. Farmers cultivate Filipino eggplant in abundance throughout Western United States and Hawaii. As with all eggplants, Filipino eggplant requires long days of sun and warm weather to flourish.
Recipes that include Filipino Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
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