The eggplant is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family like the potato, the tomato as well as the tomatillo and chayote. Although we use the eggplant as a vegetable it is really a fruit.
Eggplant comes in various colors, shapes and sizes. The English actually gave the fruit the name of “eggplant” referring to one variety’s shape which was similar to an egg. In much of Europe the eggplant is referred to as an “aubergine” and Italy it is called melanzana.
Eggplant is a spongy, mild-tasting vegetable that’s meaty yet low in calories. It’s never eaten raw, but it can be baked, grilled, or sauteed.