Japanese Eggplant

Description - This miniature model of the eggplant is really just that--a miniature eggplant. In flavor, texture and cooking qualities, the Japanese eggplant is the same as its larger cousin yet these fruit are longer and more slender. Fruits are most commonly purple in color but may also be white or green and are produced on vigorous growing plants that often are four feet tall.

Culture - The eggplant is a solanaceous plant like tomato and responds to the same basic cultural care. Plants should be set in the garden in early spring after all danger of frost. Maintain the plants in a vigorous state of growth with adequate fertilizer and moisture. Drought stress will result in the development of bitter flavor.

Selection - Select fruit that have a glossy shine and are six to eight inches long. A dull or brown color signals that the fruit is over mature, and will be tough and bitter. Eggplant is best if it is consumed soon after harvest or purchase. Optimum storage conditions for eggplant are 40 to 50o F. and a humidity near 85 percent. Even under ideal conditions, the fruit will keep only about seven to ten days.

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