Aubergines: history and origins
Aubergine’s origins are not yet certain, but it seems that this vegetable spread firstly in the hot regions of Southern Asia and more precisely in India, as well as in China.
Where it is likely that this fruit and vegetable product was already cultivated in the Stone Age.
Aubergines are not mentioned for a long time and Greek or Roman names that indicate the etymology of this fruit and vegetable product are not known: for this reason it is more likely that aubergines were not known in Europe during the Greek-Roman era.
However this fresh vegetable is mentioned in the XIII century, when aubergines began to be cultivated in Northern Africa.
It is only around 1400 that aubergines were introduced by Arabs in the Western regions and in Europe.
Even though only in the areas that for climatic reasons were more favorable to their growth.
It is certain, in fact, that in the XV century aubergines were introduced by Arabs, firstly in Spain and then in Italy.
And more precisely in Sicily, where still today there is the largest cultivation of aubergines in Italy.
Since its introduction in Europe, the name of this fruit and vegetable product came from the Arab word “badingian”: in Italy was added the prefix “melo”, becoming “melo-badingian”, later “melangiana” and then “melanzana”, name that traditionally was interpreted as “mela non sana” (not healthy apple).
Because the aubergine is a fresh vegetable that is not eatable raw, but only after being cooked (aubergines, are unpleasant and slightly poisonous when raw because they contain solanine).
Curiously, in some Italian regions the Arab word “badigian” was instead preceded by the prefix “petro” and for this reason.
Until the first years of 1800 in some texts where aubergines were mentioned, this vegetable was called “petronciano”.
For a long time
Aubergines did not have a great success: in the Middle Ages, it was thought that this vegetable could cause madness. However, aubergines are mentioned in a text dated 1550 (Treat above the cultivation of kitchen gardens) written by the Italian scientist Soderini.
In the past, aubergines were stored and consumed pickled, adding some flavoured and hot spices; more recently, during the WWII (1939-1945).
The leaves of aubergines were dried at the sun and used by farmers instead of tobacco, that was difficult to find, to produce cigarettes and cigars.
The history of aubergines, even though turbulent and non-continuative.
Has very old origins that are traced back to the Stone Age until aubergines have increasingly rooted in modern culture gaining, thanks to their great versatility.
A lot of space in the modern fruit and vegetable market.
In the world fruit and vegetable sector countless different varieties of aubergines are produced and nowadays the aubergine is one of the fresh vegetables with more varieties produced and traded on the international fruit and vegetable market.
Nowadays, there are many companies that produce aubergines, certified companies for the production of aubergines, producers of aubergines, companies that produce organic aubergines, companies that deal with the trade of aubergines and packaging of aubergines, retailers of aubergines, importers of aubergines.
Exporters of aubergines and wholesalers of aubergines: such a range of varieties has increased competition among world countries (EU-members and not) for the production of aubergines and the trade of aubergines.
Health Benefits Of Aubergines
Aid in Digestion
Eggplants, like many other vegetables, are great sources of dietary fiber, a necessary element in any balanced diet.
Fiber is essential for gastrointestinal health, as well as for regular bowel movements.
It bulks up your stool so they pass more easily through the digestive tract.
While also stimulating peristaltic motion, the contraction of the smooth muscles that help food pushed out of the body.
Finally, fiber stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that facilitate absorption of nutrients and the processing of foods.
Fiber has also been linked to the reduction in heart diseases as well, since it eliminates some of the bad LDL cholesterol that can clog arteries and veins.
Resulting in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Helps prevent anemia
A rich source of iron, eggplants increase the production of red blood cells in the body and thus help fight anemia or iron deficiency which is common in females.
Now that you know all the health benefits of eating eggplants regularly, don’t shy away from this wonderful vegetable.
There are several ways in which they can be made appealing and easier to consume for those who detest eating them.
For instance, adding it to a simple sandwich or a whole grain burger does wonders.
You can toss them with pasta or bake with cheese and other vegetables. Smokey, roasted eggplants are lovely with some light sauce.
These are just few options to get you going.
Improve Bone Health
There are a number of benefits to bone health that come from eggplants. Which is very good for people at higher risk of bone degradation and osteoporosis.
Phenolic compounds are what give eggplants and many other fruits their unique coloration.
These compounds have also been linked to reduced signs of osteoporosis, stronger bones, and increased bone mineral density.
Eggplants also have significant amounts of iron and calcium, which are integral to bone health and overall strength.
Finally, the amount of potassium in eggplants helps in the uptake of calcium.
Making eggplants a comprehensive and highly useful booster for osteoporosis and bone health.
Improves Nerve Function
Eating eggplant on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for improving our brain function because of the presence of phytonutrients in them.
These phytonutrients boost our brain activity and also improves our general mental health.
Being a good source of antioxidants, eggplant is also useful for protecting our brain cells from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals of our body and reduces the risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s diseases, dementia etc.
The iron present in eggplant improves the flow of oxygenated blood to our nerve cells and thus improves their functionality.
They are also a good source of potassium which is a vasodilator that reduces stress from our brain and improves its functionality.
Reduces The Risk Of Cancers
Eating eggplant on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for reducing the risk of several types of cancer because of the presence of antioxidants like vitamin C in it.
These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from causing damage to our body cells.
Generally speaking, free radicals are nothing but the unstabilized ions that get formed due to the oxidation of food in our body.
As they are unstabilized so they steal electrons from the molecule of our body cells and thus cause damage to them and this gives rise to premature aging, weakened the immune system, increased risk of cancer and so on.
The antioxidants present in eggplant prevents these free radicals from causing oxidative damage to our body.
In addition to this, eggplant also contains some unusual antioxidants like nasunin and chlorogenic acid which prevents free radicals damage.
Improve Brain Function
Eggplants are wonderful sources of phytonutrients. Which have long been known as boosters for cognitive activity and general mental health.
They not only defend against the free radical activity and keep your body and brain safe from toxins and diseases but they also increase blood flow to the brain.
By delivering more oxygen-rich blood to the brain. They stimulate neural pathways to develop, boosting the powers of memory and analytic thoughts.
The potassium in eggplants also acts as a vasodilator and a brain booster, so overall, they should definitely be called “brain food”.
Differences Between Aubergine And Eggplant
What is an aubergine?
Aubergine is a word that is commonly used in British English.
Almost all of the native British English speakers know about this word.
And this word means an eggplant in American English. So basically, aubergine and eggplant refers to the same thing.
If you are living in London or some places in Europe, you might be very familiar with aubergine.
Just like the eggplant in the American English, aubergine is also widely used in cooking food menus in some European countries.
One of the famous recipes for aubergine is Melanzane alla Parmigiana which is very much popular as an Italian food. Aubergine got its name from its color.
They call it aubergine because in European countries. Aubergine means a purple-brownish color, which is similar to the color of an eggplant.
Aubergine vs Eggplant
You may have heard the word aubergine or the word eggplant in different parts of the world.
The word eggplant is very widely used in American English.
Al`most all native speakers of American English would understand what an eggplant is. It is a dark purple fruit that is typically used in cooking.
It got its name from its shape, which looks like an egg, thus making it an eggplant. But not all people in different parts of the world know about the word eggplant.
They may have eggplants in their place but they never named them eggplants.
How do aubergine and eggplant differ from each other?
The truth is aubergines and eggplants are one and the same thing.
The only difference between the two is that the word aubergine is widely used by the people living in the European countries, while eggplant is widely used by the people living in United States.
So if your chef comes from the European countries then he will call it an aubergine. And if your chef comes from the United States, he may call it an eggplant.
If you are wise enough to know both words you will realize that both words refer to the same thing.
Sometimes the language barrier is a factor in whether you can understand a word. Most of the times, the word from other languages is different.