Thai Long Green Eggplant
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Thai Long Green eggplants are a medium to large varietal, averaging 25 to 30 centimeters in length and 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and have an elongated, cylindrical shape with tapered, broadly pointed ends. The eggplant's skin is smooth, glossy, thin, and delicate, being easily bruised or damaged. The skin also showcases a pale green hue with a textured, dark green cap. Underneath the surface, the white to pale green flesh has a spongy, slightly moist consistency, encasing many tiny light brown seeds. Thai Long Green eggplants must be cooked before consumption and will develop a soft, tender, and succulent texture. The eggplants have a sweet and mild flavor without the bitterness commonly associated with other varieties.
Thai Long Green eggplants are available year-round in tropical climates. In temperate regions, they are available in the summer through early fall.
Thai Long Green eggplants, botanically classified as Solanum melongena, are an Asian variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The elongated eggplants grow on compact plants reaching just under one meter in height and are ready for harvest approximately 75 to 80 days after sowing. Thai Long Green eggplants are a popular variety in Thailand and other regions of Southeast Asia and are widely found in local markets. They are also found in home gardens, grown for their prolific nature. Thai Long Green eggplants are sometimes known as Green Elephant Tusk eggplants and are favored for their delicate texture, mild, non-bitter flavor, and ease of preparation for savory cooked dishes. Outside of Asia, the variety is considered rare, often sold as a delicacy at Asian markets or through specialty growers. Recently, Thai Long Green eggplants have become a novelty for home gardens in the United States.
Thai Long Green eggplants are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The eggplants also provide magnesium to control optimal nerve functioning, manganese to develop connective tissues, and other nutrients, including copper, B vitamins, and antioxidants to protect the body against free radical damage.
Thai Long Green eggplants have a mild and sweet flavor suited for cooked preparations. The variety does not need to be peeled before cooking, oxidizes slowly, and the tender flesh readily absorbs accompanying flavors. Thai Long Green eggplants also hold their shape and will not significantly reduce in size, a trait valued for stir-frying and grilling. The eggplants can be prepared interchangeably with purple varieties and are popularly chopped and added to soups, stews, and curries. Thai Long Green eggplants can also be grilled and added to salads with fresh herbs, stir-fried with aromatics, stuffed with meat and baked, or cooked and mashed into dips. In Thailand, green eggplants are commonly combined into a sauce filled with chiles, spices, and other vegetables known as nam prik. There are many variations of nam prik, and the condiment can be used as a topping, spread, dip, or flavor enhancement to main dishes. They are also used in tam makhuea, a traditional Lanna dish from northern Thailand. Tam makhuea is a mashed dish of grilled long eggplant with mint leaves, hard-boiled eggs, or other herbs like basil. Thai Long Green eggplants complement meats such as pork, beef, and poultry, shrimp, other seafood, eggs, herbs including Thai basil, mint, and rosemary, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger. Whole Thai Long Green eggplants should be consumed quickly after purchase for the best quality and flavor. The eggplants will keep for a few days when stored unwashed and wrapped in paper towels in the refrigerator.
Eggplants were used as a symbol of reincarnation in a Thai folk tale known as The Golden Golby. The story recounts the life of a fisherman with his wife and daughter. The fisherman was unhappy in his marriage and secretly loved his concubine more than his wife. One day when he was fishing, all he kept catching was a pregnant golden goby. Angered by the lack of available fish, the fisherman takes the goby home, only to be met by his wife, who begged him to release the pregnant goby. The fisherman became enraged and ended up beating his wife to death, throwing her body in the river to conceal the murder. The fisherman's daughter questioned what had happened to her mother and sat by the riverbanks in sadness. Suddenly a golden goby approached her in the water, and the daughter realized it was her mother reincarnated. The daughter felt bad for her mother and began bringing her food daily, talking to her by the riverbank's edge. The fisherman's concubine eventually heard of the mother reincarnated as a goby and went to the river to catch and kill the fish. The daughter was devastated when she learned of her mother being murdered again and found a few of her fish scales, burying them in the ground. The scales eventually sprouted an eggplant, and the daughter sat by the plant daily. The story continues with the jealous concubine, now the stepmother, discovering the eggplant reincarnation, leading to her destroying the plant and eating the eggplants. A few seeds from the eggplant were saved by the daughter, and she again planted them in the forest, sprouting into an impenetrable Bodhi tree that could not be cut down. There are several endings to this folk tale after the Bodhi tree sprouts, ranging from the daughter marrying a prince to the daughter being murdered and reincarnated into a bird.
Thai Long Green eggplants are native to Asia and are thought to be descendants of varieties introduced from India or China. Experts heavily debate eggplant's center of origin, hypothesizing that they are native to regions spanning from India to China, but despite their lack of detailed origins, eggplants were widely cultivated throughout Asia and were spread to other countries through trade routes. Once various varieties of eggplant were planted in Thailand, farmers began selectively crossbreeding the cultivars to develop eggplants with improved growth characteristics, flavor, and appearance. Over time, immigrants settling in the New World carried Thai Long Green eggplant seeds to grow in home gardens. The variety became a specialty cultivar offered through American seed catalogs. Today Thai Long Green eggplants are widely found throughout Asia and Southeast Asia. In Thailand, they are commonly grown in the Nakhon Ratchasima Province and the Nakhon Pathom Province. The variety is also offered as a specialty eggplant through select markets and seed catalogs in Europe, Australia, and the United States. The Thai Long Green eggplants featured in the photograph above were sourced from a market in Bangkok, Thailand.
Recipes that include Thai Long Green Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Gourmet Traveller||Smoky Eggplant Salad with Mint, Red Shallot and Steamed Egg|
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Or Tor Kor Market (ตลาด อ.ต.ก.)
Near Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi, Thailand
About 150 days ago, 9/08/22
Big C Super Center Bangkok Thailand Near Bangkok, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Bangkok, Thailand
About 150 days ago, 9/08/22