Eggplant is a small to medium bush type vegetable that produces smooth, glossy skinned fruit that can vary in length from 5 to 12 inches long.
The varieties offered in the Homegrown Gourmet line of veggies includes Eggplant Black Beauty, Eggplant Gretel (All-America Selections Winner), and Eggplant Ichiban.
Whole eggplant will keep in a well-ventilated place for up to a week at 50 F. It is best not to refridgerate eggplant.
The place of origin is not known, but it is believed to be Southeastern India or possibly China. Around the ninth century, Arab agriculturalists brought eggplant to the Mediterranean.
The eggplant was treated with suspicion at first. The medieval Arab toxicologist Ibn Wahshiya (circa 940) said it was fatal if eaten raw. He was mistaken, but his advice was taken to heart in medieval Europe for many centuries.