(Solanum melongena)



Cut ripe eggplant from the vine when the fruit is still glossy before turning dull or brown. Test ripeness by gently pressing it to see that the flesh gives and bounces back. Over-mature eggplant has a spongy texture and may be more bitter in taste.


Should be eaten soon after picking. Can be kept cool or refrigerated but does not store well.


  • Wash well before use.
  • Can be cut into round slices and added to soups and stews.
  • Can rub cut pieces with salt and rinsed before cooking to reduce bitterness.
  • Can be baked, boiled, grilled, or sautéed with or without the skin.
  • Peel or remove the skin from the cooked eggplant to mix the pulp with other ingredients.
  • Pairs well with coconut milk, lemon, and other flavorings.
  • (Rody, 1982; University of Illinois Extension, 2013).

Photo Source

J. Hollyer


Eggplant grows from a type of nightshade plant whose flowers are not poisonous. The fruit is glossy dark purple-black in color and can be oval or long in shape. The flesh is white in color with a meaty texture and edible soft seeds. The fruit is normally cooked before eating because it has a bitter taste when eaten raw (University of Illinois Extension, 2013).

Traditional Names
  • Chamorro – birenghenas
  • Hawaiian – lahopipi
  • Kosraen – nasu
  • Marshallese – eggplant
  • Palauan – nas
  • Pohnpeian – nasupi
  • Samoan – isalaelu
  • Yapese – nas