People have strong feelings about the brinjal, also known as the eggplant. This past week, I ran a casual survey on my social media platform, asking followers how they feel about it. The answers ranged from “I feel nothing about it, like the way it tastes”, “it tastes like a meaty air of nothing”, to “the eggplant is sexy, especially eaten as a salad on the beach on a hot summer’s day”, “love it roasted or in a curry or stew”. This “mad apple”, its direct translation from its Italian name “melanzana”, has been a dinner table controversy for centuries worldwide.
I love the congeniality of the brinjal because it lends itself to any cuisine, cooking method or style. It can soak up just about any flavour the chef intends to create. Some enjoy it for its heaviness, or as a meat substitute, while others do not, disliking its bitterness. However, not all eggplants are bitter.