I first grew a Solanum melongena about 10 years ago and discovered true bliss. Eggplants are truly one of the most perfect and satisfying vegetable to grow. From their graceful arching branches and leaves, to the delicate lilac blossoms that suddenly sprout a dark purple nugget. Each little nugget grows slowly bulbous, glistening, pendulous, dark and shiny with promise.
Eggplants early March
Last night I picked our first eggplant for the season.
The plant has been growing near our back door since October and I had dispaired of success. So many blossoms and so much rain to wash them away again.But finally, last month, a nugget appeared under two of the blossoms.
I have been daily delighted by their grace and beauty. I secretly caress their shiny, smooth skins. I dream of moussaka and baba ganoush. Eggplants are the poetry of the vegetable world. Naturally, I am not the first one to think this thought though.
Eggplant Love | Linda O’Connell | 2008
You glossy beauty of ample girth A most desirable speciman on this earth.
The eggplant, The aubergine
The stud lover of my cuisine.
Deep purple velvet, lustrous skin
Glistening, I desire the shape you’re in!!
You’re edible and gorgeous all eight inches long
From my window I watch can this be so wrong?
you enter my mouth and my lips they approve
Voluptuous curves with all the right moves.
The salt on your skin makes you profusely sweat
Don’t worry my lover I’m now dripping wet…..
Eggplant early April
The Eggplant Epithalamion from Half-Lives | Erica Jong | 1973
“Mostly you eat eggplant at least once a day,” she explained. “A Turk won’t marry a woman unless she can cook eggplant at least a hundred ways.”
-Archaeologist Iris Love, speaking of the cuisine on digs in Turkey. The New York Times, February 4, 1971
There are more than a hundred Turkish poems
I would like to give you all of them.
If you scoop out every seed,
you can read me backward
like an Arabic book.
(Lament in Aubergine)
& as shiny as if freshly laid-
You are a melancholy fruit.
Every animal is sad
(Byzantine Eggplant Fable)
Once upon a time on the coast of Turkey
there live a woman who could cook eggplant 99 ways.
She could slice eggplant thin as paper.
She could write poems on it & batter-fry it.
She could bake eggplant & broil it.
She could even roll the seeds in banana-
flavored cigarette papers
& get her husband high on eggplant.
But he was not pleased.
He went to her father & demanded his bride-price back.
He said he’d been cheated.
He wanted back two goats, twelve chickens
& a camel as reparation.
His wife wept & wept.
Her father raved.
The next day she gave birth to an eggplant.
It was premature & green
& she had to sit on it for days
before it hatched.
“This is my hundredth eggplant recipe,” she screamed.