Have you ever wondered why a vegetable that looks nothing like an egg is called an eggplant? Let’s delve into the intriguing world of the white eggplant and uncover the etymological origins of this culinary delight.
- White vs. Purple: Breaking Stereotypes
- Exploring the Best White Eggplant Varieties for Your Garden
White vs. Purple: Breaking Stereotypes
Compared to their purple counterparts, white eggplants often have thinner skin, making them less commonly found in supermarkets. However, when you grow your own produce, this shouldn’t be a concern. In fact, the thin skin of white eggplants provides a unique advantage.
According to Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor at the University of Vermont, the bitterness associated with eating eggplants mostly stems from compounds contained in the skin. With thinner skin, white eggplants offer a milder and sweeter taste, eliminating any previous aversion to this versatile vegetable.
Exploring the Best White Eggplant Varieties for Your Garden
Get ready for a tour through the enchanting world of unpigmented eggplants. Here are nine exceptional white eggplant varieties that will elevate your culinary repertoire:
1. Casper: A Cool-Season Delight
‘Casper’ stands out among eggplants due to its ability to thrive in cooler growing conditions. Unlike most heat-loving varieties, ‘Casper’ flourishes during the cooler days of the growing season. However, it’s important to note that this French heirloom cultivar is frost-sensitive and shouldn’t be planted alongside cool-season crops. With ivory-colored fruit that ripens early, ‘Casper’ is perfect for gardeners with shorter summers.
2. Ghostbuster: A Mid-Season Marvel
Continuing the trend of ghostly references, ‘Ghostbuster’ is an impressive mid-season hybrid that matures in 72 to 80 days. These plants can reach up to five feet tall with a four-foot spread at maturity. The oval-shaped fruits of ‘Ghostbuster’ measure up to six to seven inches in length and four inches in width. They maintain a delightful sweet flavor until they turn yellow, so be sure to harvest them before they take on a bitter taste.
3. Gretel: A Fairy Tale Dream
With a name reminiscent of a beloved childhood fairy tale, ‘Gretel’ produces clusters of small, pure ivory-colored eggplants. These bell-shaped, lightly ribbed fruits are petite, measuring just four and a half inches in length and three and a half inches in width. ‘Gretel’ eggplants offer a mildly sweet and creamy taste, perfect for adding a touch of magic to your culinary creations.
4. Paloma: Beauty in Diversity
Looking for diversity in your garden? ‘Paloma’ eggplants boast bell-shaped fruits with a lightly ribbed texture. With thin skin, these fruits measure four inches long and three and a half inches wide. It’s fascinating to recognize their kinship with other members of the Solanaceae family, making a connection between eggplants and tomatoes. ‘Paloma’ eggplants have a mildly sweet and creamy taste, presenting a delightful twist to traditional recipes.
5. Thai White Ribbed: A Tropical Sensation
Transport yourself to the tropics with ‘Thai White Ribbed’ eggplants. These plants grow two to three feet tall and take up to 90 days to mature, making them more suitable for regions with a longer growing season. Their flattened round shape, coupled with deep ribbing, closely resembles albino heirloom slicing tomatoes. With a mild flavor and smooth, creamy texture, ‘Thai White Ribbed’ eggplants add a touch of exoticism to your dishes.
6. White Comet: Shooting Stars on Your Plate
Shaped like ethereal shooting stars, ‘White Comet’ eggplants dazzle with their unique appearance and taste. This Japanese variety boasts very few seeds and is entirely devoid of any bitter flavor. Be prepared to be enchanted by the delicate flavor and texture of ‘White Comet’ eggplants, making them a delightful addition to any recipe.
The world of white eggplants is a captivating one, offering a variety of flavors, shapes, and sizes that can transform your culinary experiences. From the cool-season delight of ‘Casper’ to the fairy tale charm of ‘Gretel,’ each variety has its own story to tell. So, why not embark on a journey through your garden, exploring the wonder of white eggplants? Discover the pleasures of this unique vegetable and allow your taste buds to experience something truly extraordinary.
For more information on growing eggplants in your garden, visit the Ames Farm Center website.