It seems, as one ages on this planet traversing the cosmos, one’s physician determines that medical testing is necessary. So it was this week as I sat in the waiting room anticipating another round of tests; I was reading a medical journal.
There was an article about one of my favorites—aubergine (eggplant). The article proceeded to list some history.
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and other major accomplishments, introduced the aubergine to the American colonies. Jefferson was also famous for his gardens.
The production of aubergine is still in its infancy in the USA after all these years. 83% of aubergine is grown in India and China with Iran, Egypt and Turkey rounding out the top five producers.
It was first cultivated from the nightshade family in South Asia and is cousin to the tomato and potato in the nightshade family:
“Nightshade” is actually the common name used to describe over 2,800 species of plants, many with very different properties and constituents. All of the plants, however, belong to a scientific order called Polemoniales, and to a scientific family called Solanaceae….” See reference below
Aubergine is very common in dishes for vegans and vegetarians. Ratatouille, not Remy from the movie, is a favorite.
When you have tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, onions, garlic, seasonings tossed in with eggplant you have a great dish. I like to sautéed the onion in olive oil first. Adding a heaping helping of black olives just adds to the culinary mixture.
Of course you have eggplant parmesan which is my favorite. I have sampled this delicacy in various places and have created my own.
Another tasty dish is baba ghanoush. This Middle Eastern eggplant dish will delight any connoisseur’s palate.
We live on a small globe hanging in infinite space. There are many things which separate us as one common people.
Food should not be one of those barriers. To experience a culture, especially its food, is to realize that we all have many things in common.
Life is so transient. Everyone who remains isolated or prejudiced toward another segment of humanity experiences a loss.
Taste is individual. Culture is inherited or adopted. Appreciation is something which we all have the capacity to possess.
Let’s appreciate the various opportunities we have to encounter culture. Most major cities have fine eateries ( I don’t mean fast food places ).
A few years ago we were driving along the lakeshore and found this marvelous Italian restaurant. Its homey atmosphere and fine foods became one of our favorites.
Just down the block was this impressive castle-like structure where it is hard to find a table for lunch or dinner. However, the menu and the prices cater to the visitors from the other side of the lake, and the menu was not appealing to my family; but the small Italian restaurant run by a family just a few feet away was.
So explore your community. Sample the local fare. You might just find a lovely, homey place to rest a while and enjoy a fine meal with homemade gelato.
In closing, aubergine in the typological realm is the human race. There are certain members who are deadly and will destroy whoever disagrees with their ideological pursuits.
Others are a bit baleful, but they are usually harmless until certain stimuli trigger a violent episode. For the most part the majority are beneficial members of society doing their best to help their fellow travellers on the road of life and doing what they can to make this earth a better place to live and thrive.
G. D. Williams © 2014