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Toga eggplants are very small and oblong, approximately 2 centimeters in diameter. The outer skin is smooth, glossy, and bright orange and yellow with deep green stripes. The inner flesh is pale green with many edible white seeds. Toga eggplants grow in clusters on bushy perennial plants with large green leaves and white or yellow flowers. The small fruits are crunchy and slightly bitter with tasting notes of tomato and peppers.
Toga eggplants are available year-round.
Toga eggplants, botanically classified as Solanum aethiopicum, are a rare heirloom variety belonging to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family, which contains 3,000 species including tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Also known as Striped Toga eggplants, Toga eggplants are mostly used as an ornamental in home gardens. The fruits are edible, but they are difficult to cook properly and carry a bitter taste. Toga eggplants can be left hanging on the stems and used in fresh or dry floral arrangements where they will last for several months.
Toga eggplants contain small amounts of protein, starch, and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.
Toga eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as grilling, frying, and sautéing. They are popularly sautéed and used alongside other vegetables in stews as their flavor alone can be bitter. Toga eggplants retain their color when fried and can add an attractive dash of color to dishes. They can also be grilled on skewers and served as a side dish or incorporated into curries for added crunch. Toga eggplants pair well with tomatoes, peppers, feta, garlic, onions, and meats such as chicken or pork. Toga eggplants will keep up to a week when stored whole in the refrigerator.
Toga eggplants are thought to have been created from African varieties of eggplant. Eggplants in Africa are used as a staple cooking ingredient and are sometimes dried in rural areas that struggle with access to electricity and refrigeration. In Ghana, eggplants are among the most-consumed vegetable and are commonly eaten raw or used in stews.
Toga eggplants are believed to have originated in sub-Saharan Africa and were brought to Europe via the slave trade where they are commercially produced today. Toga eggplants can be found at specialty grocers and farmers markets in Europe, Africa, South America, and the United States.
Recipes that include Toga Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Sicilian Creative in the Kitchen||Baked Eggplant Salad, with Feta and Tomatoes|