Jade Sweet Eggplant
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The Jade Sweet eggplant has a shiny skin that is pale, grassy green. A medium to large sized eggplant the Jade Sweet has a uniform, oval shape and is capped with a green to light brown calyx. The Jade Sweet has tiny seeds and a creamy white flesh that has a dense but tender spongy texture. It has a sweet mild flavor and melting quality when cooked. Newer varieties of eggplant such as the Jade Sweet are known for their sweet flavor which lacks the bitterness commonly found in older varieties of eggplant.
Jade Sweet eggplants are available mid-summer into fall, greenhouse grown are available year-round.
The Jade Sweet is a variety of eggplant botanically classified as Solanum melongena ‘Jade Sweet’. It is a variety originally from Australia, known for its mild and sweet flavor. Eggplants such as the Jade Sweet are of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and are a relative to potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers.
Jade Sweet eggplants contain phenolic compounds within the skin of the fruit which act as natural protective agents against animals and pesticides. They also contain antioxidants which studies have shown provide protection against heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Jade Sweet eggplants are as versatile as traditional eggplants and can be utilized in most recipes where eggplant is called for. They can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, deep fried, stewed and pickled. Their shape and size make them ideal for partially hollowing out, stuffing and baking. When preparing in sauces rich in butter, cream or oil sliced Jade Sweet eggplant will benefit from first roasting slightly which will act as a means of preventing the eggplant from soaking up to much of the rich sauce it is finished in. The flavor and texture of the Jade Sweet eggplant pairs well with onions, garlic, tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, zucchini, grilled and roasted meats, coconut milk, fresh and melting cheeses and herbs such as parsley and basil. To store keep Jade Sweet eggplants in a cool dry place and use within two to three days.
Early varieties of eggplant were most commonly shades of yellow, green and white and had a petite and oval shape, reminiscent of that of an egg, a characteristic which is responsible for eggplants namesake.
Unlike most members of the Solanaceae family eggplants are native to the Old World and their ancestry can be traced back to wild varieties which grew in Africa. Eggplant is believed to have first made its way to Europe via Arab traders. Jade Sweet eggplants are an Australian variety known for its excellent flavor and texture. In Australia eggplant is grown predominately in Queensland and New South Wales. Fairly easy to grow the Jade Sweet is drought tolerant and can thrive and produce high yields of fruit even in hot and dry conditions.