Eggplant Is in Season!
Eggplant is in season in Florida ten months out of the year, though the majority is produced during the fall and winter.1 It is an important Florida agricultural commodity and can be prepared in a variety of ways, including as a meat substitute.2 Look for firm, smooth-skinned2 eggplants now at your local grocery store or farmers market.
Fun Eggplant Facts
- Florida ranks second nationally in eggplant production. In 2007, Florida produced 50 million pounds of eggplant!1
- Most eggplant grown in Florida comes from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.1
- Though most people are familiar with the oblong, dark purple varieties, eggplants may be white, pink, or variegated and can be spherical or long and thin in shape.3
- The name eggplant actually comes from the fact that the vegetable resembles an egg (this is especially true for the white varieties).4
- Eggplant is native to southern Asia and has been cultivated there since ancient times.4
- Mark A. Mossler and O. Norman Nesheim, Florida Crop/Pest Management Profile: Eggplant, CIR1264, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2012, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi045
- “Eggplant,” Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, n.d., http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Nutrition-and-Wellness/Living-Healthy-in-Florida/Healthy-Learning/All-About-Florida-Products/Eggplant
- Monica Ozores-Hampton, Conventional and Specialty Eggplant Varieties in Florida, HS1243, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2014, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1243
- Marie-Christine Daunay and Jules Janick, “History and Iconography of Eggplant,” Chronica Horticulturae 47, no. 3 (2007): 16–22, https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/chronicaeggplant.pdf
Featured photo credit: Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS