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Prosperosa eggplants are a large variety, averaging 10 to 12 centimeters in diameter, and have a somewhat uniform, round to oval shape. The skin is smooth, taut, glossy, and dark purple, with patches of white appearing on the shoulders surrounding the green calyx. Depending on the climate and cultivation, the eggplants may also exhibit slight ribbing around the top of the fruit. Underneath the surface, the flesh is tender, spongy, and ivory to white, encasing many small, edible seeds scattered throughout the interior. Prosperosa eggplants, when cooked, have a soft and slightly chewy consistency with a mild, sweet flavor.
Prosperosa eggplants are available in the late summer through winter.
Prosperosa eggplants, botanically classified as Solanum melongena, are an Italian heirloom variety that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as Melanzana Prosperosa, the round fruits are one of the most cultivated varieties in Italy and are a highly regarded culinary ingredient for their large size and mild flavor. Prosperosa eggplants are commonly used by high-end Italian chefs, purchased through specialty growers, but the variety is also a favorite eggplant traditionally grown in local Italian home gardens. Eggplants have been a part of Italian cuisine since the 9th century, and though cultivation is minimal in Italy in comparison to production in places such as China, the country is still one of the largest exporters of eggplant within Europe. With increased demand from neighboring countries, Prosperosa eggplants have expanded into specialty markets across Europe, imported directly from Italy, and are often seen individually wrapped to protect the delicate flesh and quality flavor.
Prosperosa eggplants are an excellent source of fiber, which can help regulate digestion, and are a good source of vitamins C, K, and B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, and folate. The purple-hued fruits also contain anthocyanins, which are dark pigments found in the skin that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help boost the immune system.
Prosperosa eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as grilling, baking, frying, steaming, and stir-frying. The variety can be used for any recipe calling for common purple eggplant and is often chopped and tossed into soups, curries, and stews, hollowed and stuffed with grains, vegetables, and ground meats, fried and covered in tomato-based sauces, or grilled as a savory side dish. Prosperosa eggplants can also be cooked and mixed into pasta, blended into dips, sliced and layered into gratins, or baked into dishes such as ratatouille. In Italy, Prosperosa eggplants are commonly incorporated into caponata, which is a vegetable-based dish that can be served hot or cold as an appetizer, often spooned over toasted bread. Prosperosa eggplants pair well with fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, and coriander, cheeses such as parmesan, mozzarella, burrata, and cheddar, pine nuts, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, rice, pasta, and meats such as poultry, fish, turkey, and beef. The fresh eggplants will keep up to ten days when stored whole and unwashed in a plastic bag in a cool, dark place such as the refrigerator.
In Italy, Prosperosa eggplant is a favored variety for use in parmigiana, which is a traditional dish that has been made for over two hundred years. First appearing in printed form in 1837 in Naples, the classic parmigiana recipe consists of thick slices of fried eggplant served with baked cheeses and tomato sauce. Parmigiana began in Southern Italy but quickly spread to other regions, and with its introduction, many variations of the recipe were created depending on the local ingredients available on hand. In the modern-day, parmigiana has also become popular throughout the rest of Europe and the United States. Known as eggplant parmesan in the United States, the savory dish is a favorite meal served at Italian restaurants across the country, and many Italian-American households also traditionally make the meal as a meatless dinner once a week.
Prosperosa eggplants are native to Italy and were believed to have first been cultivated in the Tuscany region. While the exact dates of origin are unknown, the variety quickly spread across Italy and was adapted into both everyday culinary applications and high-end preparations at restaurants. Today Prosperosa eggplants are found in local markets throughout Italy and are exported to other regions of Europe such a Belgium. The cultivar is also found through online seed catalogs for home garden use in Europe and the United States.
Recipes that include Prosperosa Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Andies Way||Prosperosa Eggplant Becomes Pasta Alla Norma|
|Knead to Cook||Stuffed Prosperosa Eggplant.|