HOT Eggplant!

Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoOctober 6, 2008

Yeow! Has anybody ever had this happen before? I had had an eggplant in the fridge for a couple weeks that I had never gotten around to eating, and decided thatÂs what I was gonna have for dinner tonite, but when I cut it, it was brown inside from being in the fridge for so long! By then I felt like having eggplant, so I went out with the flashlite and dug around under the sheetsÂpossible frost toniteÂuntil I found another one and brought it in and prepared it. I always make it the same wayÂthe easiest way! I slice it, dip it in egg then in cornflake crumbs, and fry it in olive oil. Everything was looking good until I started eating it! It was somewhat bitter, which surprised me since I had just picked it and it definitely wasnÂt too big, but I kept eating it anywayÂI was in the mood for eggplant! The more I ate (eggplant was my whole dinner!) the more bitter it seemed, and then I realized that at least part of what I first thought was bitter was really HOT! I didnÂt finish quite the whole thing, but by the time I stopped, the whole inside of my mouth was numb! IÂve never heard of such a thing happening with eggplant! I think something was going on besides the slight bitterness and the hot sensation, but I donÂt have a clue what! ItÂs been close to an hour, and the inside of my mouth is still half numb!

Has anybody else ever heard of such a thing happening or had it happen to them??? This is weird! ItÂs the same variety I always grow (ÂClassicÂ), tho I did have some problems this year. When I first put them outside, something was eating them. I never did figure out what it wasÂwhatever it was, was too small to see! I sprayed them a few times with soap water, and they finally seemed to start growing, tho the plants never got very big, like they usually do, and the eggplants seemed to develop very slowly, and never got as big as they usually do. I thought the slow development might be the cause of the bitterness, but that still doesnÂt explain the HEAT or the numbing effect!

What have I grown? For all you folks out there who like the HOT peppers (I donÂt!), I might need to save seeds and send them to you. Maybe IÂll get it patented first! SkybirdÂs Special HOT and NUMBING Eggplant!

Anybody have any ideas about what happened to my poor eggplants?


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The 'heat', I dunno. But last Friday, I had one, last, absolutely beautiful, bigger-than-a-softball eggplant left, and we were grilling hamburgers outside. So I picked it, sliced it 3/4 inch thick, and brushed it with olive oil and let it marinate a bit, and popped it on the grill - timed it so it was golden brown.

Absolutely awful. It was so bitter that I could only take a few bites, and now that you mention it, my mouth was getting a bit numb. But I don't recall the heat. But then I was smart enough to stop eating it =:-).

Maybe, this late in the season with the cool nights, they just get bitter? I'd heard it was more an issue of uneven moisture......

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

ROFL! My numb mouth and I are cracking up, David!

Hey! When I get eggplant on the brain, IÂm gonna eat it come Heck or High Water! Because they grew so slowly, I hadnÂt had one yet this summer, and I couldnÂt let the whole year go by without having at least one home grown eggplant!

Uneven watering wasnÂt the problem for sure. Since I was off in the beginning with the concussion, and then with the West Nile Virus, I was here all summer againÂand watering like mad. The first time I left for more than a couple days at a time, was when I went on vacation right after the swap.

Since I donÂt (EVER!) eat HOT stuff, itÂs possible what I was experiencing was more whatever was causing the numbing than actual heat! I assumed when I first felt it that it was like hot peppers, but I donÂt really know what that feels like!!! Guess IÂll just have to concede the eggplants for this year and hope next year will be better. Such is the nature of gardening!

Slowly getting the feeling back in my mouth,

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:09AM
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Ok, I remember a while back that someone was talking about their potatoes being hot, last year maybe? Was it jrancher? Now eggplant has it. All I can say is it better not get into the tomato patch next year!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 10:20AM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

If it does get into the tomatoes you can always use them for salsa :-)

I know the bitterness in the eggplant is usually in the seeds and the seedier the eggplant the more bitter it is. I can't say I've ever had a hot one though.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 6:37PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Nope, billie, wasn't me. :) My taters might be basket cases, but they haven't been hot. :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Well, I am now a little worried. It only took me how many years to try eggplant again, now we're talking about them being hot and today I discover that I actually have one on one of the three plants I have out in the garden. It's only about fist size and white. I thought I have a purple variety. I will have to look. Never mind, Cloud Nine is white. What do you all think, should I pick and find out if it is hot too?


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 12:37AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Go for it, Billie! You can always be smart enough to STOP eating it after a couple bites if it's bad! Unlike me!!! The problem I have now is that I have a couple more on the plants---and it's gonna be REALLY, REALLY hard to just throw them on the compost pile! I also have a couple 'Slim Jim' plants with LOTS of tiny little eggplants on them---they're supposed to be little, and I actually tried one of them the nite I had the ? bad ? one, but my mouth was so numb by then that I don't know if the little ones are ok or not, so I AM going to try them one more time to find out---before they go on the compost pile if they need to! I hope they're good, but if they're not, I guess I'll just need to resort to store bought! At least eggplants aren't like tomatoes! You CAN get good eggplants at the store!

AND---it BETTER NOT get into the tomato patch! If it does, you'll hear my scream all up and down the Rockies! I LOVE tomatoes--and you CAN'T buy even decent, much less GOOD, tomatoes in a store!

On the potato front--The few small red potatoes I grew from "discards" in my "compost pile potato patch" were DELICIOUS! The potato patch just might take over my entire compost pile next year! Sure wish I had more room to grow veggies!

Down with HOT eggplants!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:09AM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

Slice the eggplants and sprinkle salt on both sides, let them drain for about half an hour or so and then rinse them off. That should leach out some of the bitterness and moisture. Then you can cover them in marinara sauce, mozzarella and bake or roast them and mash them and make baba ganoush.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 4:50PM
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