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Eggplant, like other members of the nightshade family, is an ancient fruit that is most often cooked and prepared as a vegetable.  Eggplant is highly prized in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean as well as greatly esteemed in many parts of the world, where it is often used in place of meat.  Eggplant is high in fiber and low in calories.  Many varieties are currently available, from the more traditional oblong to the long, slender Oriental varieties, ranging in color from deep to light purple,  varigated purple and white, to green.


Store eggplant unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature, avoiding extremes of hot or cold.  In the often hot climates of Florida, it can be stored in a drawer of the refrigerator for approximately one to two weeks.  For longer term storage, eggplant can be prepared as a dip or sauce and frozen.

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