Aubergine

Italian Eggplant Varieties: Advice on growing and using Italian Eggplants

Perhaps you are new to the field of eggplant, both in the kitchen and on the farm. It is an attractive plant that produces an edible and nutritious fruit. You can even grow it in a container and place it in a highly visible spot, if you wish. There are many varieties of Italian eggplants to grow and many ways to cook them.

What is an Italian eggplant?

There are many varieties of aubergines, and the Italian type is often used for popular culinary dishes. There is an eggplant called Baby Eggplant, which is softer and tastier than most others. Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian eggplant, as well as a favourite dish called Eggplant Rollatini and another called Caponata. Some types of Italian meat are larger and provide a substantial amount of meat (called the edible part).

There are producers at the beginning, middle and end of the season. There are whites, violets and some with striped or spotted skin. Most of them have a rounded or irregular shape, but Lunga Violetta is cylindrical and thin, almost pepper-like. The skin is deep purple and the meat is creamy

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colour, hazelnut and rich in flavour. It is a heritage variety that grows in the USDA Zone 5 garden and throughout the south.

Eggplant’s good for you. It contains the flavonoid anthocyanin, the plant pigment that turns blueberries blue and helps make them a great food. Foods containing anthocyanins often lower blood pressure significantly and may even prevent cancer. Italian eggplant contains vitamins C and B6 as well as potassium and fibre.

Eggplant cultivation in Italy

These plants need conditions similar to those offered for tomatoes and peppers. The eggplant is a vine plant, which often produces a dozen fruits per vine. If you limit the fruits by pinching the growing points, the remaining ones will be larger with the energy of the plant directed towards them. Italian eggplants need to be staked, so find a sturdy stake or cage for each plant before the fruit forms.

Plant the seedlings in the sunny garden when the soil has warmed up. You can buy the seedlings or start the plants from seeds indoors to get the best selection of Italian eggplant varieties. Especially in areas where the growing season is short, start seeds indoors two months before anticipating temperatures to warm the garden soil. You can also plant in large containers of at least five gallons. Use dark-coloured pots to attract the sun to these heat-lovers. Full sun is necessary for Italian eggplants to grow properly.

Plant the seedlings in a rich soil, modified with well-composed materials. Work with a 10-10-10 excavator or use granular slow-release fertilizers. Keep the soil constantly moist, not soggy. When the fruit starts to grow, fertilize weekly or twice a month with a high potassium fertilizer or use compost tea.

Some Italian eggplant sources say the fruit can be ready in 70 days, but others say it is harvested 16 to 24 weeks after sowing. Learn this information about your particular type before planting. You’ll know that the eggplant is ripe when it no longer bounces under the gentle pressure of your finger.

Italian eggplant varieties

You can choose seeds from these Italian types :

Violet

  • Dancer
  • Traviata (organic)
  • Beatrice

White

  • Clara
  • Aretussa
  • Pigeon

Multicoloured

  • Barbarella
  • Nubia
  • Rosa Bianca
  • Angela

Black

  • Jaylo
  • Nadia
  • Galen

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