Mitoyo Eggplant Info – Learn About Growing Mitoyo Eggplants
The word “eggplant” comes from the Latin words “mitus” meaning “little” and “ogre”, which means snake. The word came into use in the 16th century when it was used to refer to small snakes that were found growing along roadsides. These plants are called “mites”. They have been known since ancient times. Some believe they originated in China.
However, there is no evidence to support this theory.
In Japan, the name “mitoyo” (みなとめ) literally means “snake’s head”. This term was originally applied to a variety of edible plants native to Japan, but later became popularized as a generic term for all edible plants with leaves or flowers resembling those of the common garden pea (Pisum sativum). The Japanese ate these plants for their flavor and medicinal qualities.
The most well-known species of mite is the Mitochondrial Eve (M. eugenii), commonly known as the Mitoyo Eggplant, Mitoyo Eggplant Seedling, or simply as Mite Eggplant. The genus name derives from its resemblance to an eggplant seedling, hence the name “Eggplant”. Mitochondrial Eve is a variety of Mitoyo eggplant, which is native to the East Asian region. It is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
It is a berry plant and has a black-purple skin and bright green flesh inside.
The first written record of the Mitoyo eggplant was made in 1545 by a Flemish sailor named Corneille de Vriendt. It is believed to have originated from the New World, but spread to Japan and East-Asia along the spice route. The plant was originally grown as a food crop for native people in the areas where it was cultivated. In parts of Southeast Asia, these berries were used as a substitute for black pepper, long before the existence of black pepper was known in Europe.
The eggplant was brought to North America by the African slaves who were bought by the Europeans to America. In the United States, eggplant is used for cooking. It can be fried, baked or added as a side to a meal. It is also used as an ingredient in several traditional Asian dishes such as “Kuropan”.
The eggs of the Mitoyo eggplant are spherical and have a diameter of between 7 and 12 centimeters. The skin color can vary from black-purple to purple. It has a smooth texture and feels slightly sticky to the touch. It contains a large amount of edible seeds. There are up to 150 seeds in one eggplant.
Because the Mitoyo eggplant was unknown in the Old World before the 16th century, some people believe that it might have spread from America to East-Asia along with other foods such as potatoes, tomatoes and others. It is believed that the common garden pea may also have spread through similar means. However, there is no definitive evidence to prove this theory.
The Mitoyo eggplant contains a variety of nutrients and compounds. It is a rich source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. These chemicals are known to protect the body from cancer cells. The eggplant is also a good source of potassium, thiamine and vitamin C. It also contains soluble fiber, which is known to prevent the risk of heart diseases.
Due to its low fat content, it can be considered a diet food.
The Mitoyo eggplant can be consumed raw, boiled, pickled or even as a dried powder. In Eastern cultures, it is eaten as a snack. When fried, it can be used as an alternative to potatoes. It can also be mixed with other ingredients to prepare a curry-like dish.
The most popular recipes involving the Mitoyo eggplant are found in the traditional cooking of Korea, Japan and China.
Sources & references used in this article:
Grafting effects on eggplant growth, yield, and verticillium wilt incidence by S Johnson, D Inglis, C Miles – International Journal of Vegetable …, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Benefits of organic fertilizers spray on growth quality of chili pepper seedlings under cool temperature by MK Souri, FY Sooraki – Journal of Plant Nutrition, 2019 – Taylor & Francis
GRAFTING EGGPLANT, TOMATO, AND WATERMELON TO MANAGE by SJ Johnson – 2012 – dissertations.wsu.edu