Japanese Eggplant

The eggplant, commonly used in cooking, is a nightshade closely related to the tomato and potato. It’s native to India, and the fruit is fleshy, with a meaty texture.

It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory, but appears to have become known to the Western world no earlier than the year 1500 AD.

The first known written record of the plant is found in Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544 AD.

Chinese varieties are commonly shaped like a narrower, slightly pendulous cucumber, and are often called “Japanese eggplants” in North America.

(wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant)