Jade Sweet Eggplant
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Jade Sweet eggplants have a uniform, oval shape and are medium to large in size, averaging 10-15 centimeters in length and 5-10 centimeters in diameter. Capped with a green to light brown calyx, the eggplant's outer skin is shiny, smooth, and a pale, grassy green. Its inner flesh is creamy white with tiny, edible seeds. When cooked, Jade Sweet eggplants have a tender and spongy texture with a sweet and mild flavor.
Jade Sweet eggplants are available year-round, with peak season mid-summer into fall.
Jade Sweet eggplants, botanically classified as Solanum melongena 'Jade Sweet,' is a variety originally from Australia known for its mild and sweet flavor. New varieties of eggplant, such as the Jade Sweet, are bred for flavor and lack the bitterness commonly found in older varieties of eggplant. Jade Sweet eggplants are of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and are a relative to potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Jade Sweet eggplants contain antioxidants, fiber, and potassium.
Jade Sweet eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as grilling, roasting, sautéing, deep frying, stewing, and pickling. Their shape and size make them ideal for partially hollowing out, stuffing, and baking. When preparing in sauces rich in butter, cream, or oil, sliced Jade Sweet eggplant will benefit from first roasting slightly which will act as a means of preventing the eggplant from soaking up too much of the rich sauce. Jade Sweet eggplants pair well with onions, garlic, tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, zucchini, grilled and roasted meats, coconut milk, fresh and melting cheeses, and herbs such as parsley and basil. Jade Sweet eggplants will keep up to three days when stored in a cool and dry place.
Eggplants are relatively new to Australia and are grown predominately in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales. Australia's warm climate is ideal for growing eggplants, and they are predominately sold in local farmers markets. Eggplant dishes such as moussaka, eggplant parmigiana, bruschetta, and baba ghanoush are increasing in popularity in Australia as eggplant production is increasing.
Eggplants are native to India and Africa and then made its way to Europe via Arab traders on the silk road. These ancient varieties were introduced to Australia over time, and now Australia is creating its own new varieties such as the Jade Sweet. Today the Jade Sweet eggplant can be found in farmers markets, home gardens, and specialty grocers in Australia, Asia, and the United States.