Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eggplant, I’m On to You

Last weekend I spotted these young eggplants at a stand at the Civic Center Farmers’ Market in San Francisco. I’m not a fan of the eggplant, which I’ve blogged in the past as the cardboard of the vegetable world. But I have to admit I was intrigued by the color and the slender, elongated shape of these particular eggplants.

So I snapped a photo.

Then the photo sat in my camera for a few days as I thought, what can I really say about the eggplant? I mean, I hate the texture. Everyone tries to make it seem like the greatest thing to eat, but only after they’ve deep fried the hell out of it. My friend Food Gal asked me recently if I even hated baba ghanoush, and I can’t say I’ve eaten it all that much. (Although baba ghanoush is probably my second favorite food word to say after bibimbap.)

While baba ghanoush is probably a more acceptable way to eat eggplant, it’s only because the eggplant has been pounded into such a pulp that it could pass for hummus.

Sigh, the eggplant. I was deceived by your outer beauty to snap a picture but I still hold this slightly festering disdain for you. Let me share with my readers the real you…

(Note: The following photos were found randomly on the Web and I do not hold the copyright to them.)

Angry Killer Eggplant. This is the real eggplant. Angry. Menacing. With some oddly placed red eyes. Here it is outside a nondescript college campus building, probably plotting how to rescue his fellow eggplants that have been set aside to be made into soggy deep-fried eggplant parmesan.

Eggplant-O-lanterns. Again, the eggplant can be spooky. I’m sure it harbors a lot of jealously for its cousin the pumpkin who always look luscious in autumnal orange. What kid would accept candy from this motley crew?

Some people thought they could fool me by making the eggplant cute like penguins. But I’m on to you, eggplant. You can’t fool me with your shiny skin and elongated neck. You’re still full of mush.

A Delaware County woman on the East Coast was cutting her eggplant (and yes, she was prepping them to be deep fried) when the seeds of one slice seem to spell out the word “God” to her. Divine intervention? More the work of Satan, I say. Don’t succumb to the belief that eating the eggplant will get you through the pearly gates. Ain’t gonna happen.

OK, now I do feel sorry for this eggplant, peeled just partially by the woman behind the food blog Mama’s Taverna for her recipe for Fried Eggplant with Garlicky Tomato-Vinegar sauce. It is sad how we bloggers will treat our food this way, cutting into them and then forcing them to pose for pictures. In this case, for a semi-nude layout! I’m starting to understand the eggplant’s anger.
Further humiliation comes in Israel where an ad agency called this eggplant fat and dressed it in some jacked up bikini just to make a point for a new Magimix XL food processor. (The tag line? “Big Is In.”)
And here’s another beautiful shot of the eggplant (not by me) showcasing again its rich beautiful color and curvaceous body. I give you props, eggplant, that you make a damn good model. But I won’t give in. No, you are not tasty. You may trick others to buy into you, disguising yourself in various shapes and forms. But I’ve got your number.

Oh, one more thing. Baba ghanoush!

11 comments:

Amy Sherman said...

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. I love ordering it in Chinese restaurants where it is always silky, never bitter and flavored with a variety of sauces that are always slightly different. Maybe someday you will discover an eggplant dish that will convert you!

Kim said...

The penguins are too cute!

mark said...

I love the penguins.

Jeff said...

I am here to lend my support to the hatred and elimination of the evil eggplant.

No good has ever came out of eggplant and heck they had to make a cool sounding word such as baba ghanoush just to trick people into thinking the contents of said dish would rock. False advertising!!!

However, the poor eggplant that was half skinned does remind me of a sick scene from the Abu Ghraib prison so I do feel sadness for that one. The rest of them at least provided some humor to the rest of society before being tossed to the side for being bland and boring.

Carolyn Jung said...

I love the bikini-clad eggplant! Oh, Single Guy Chef, I think you would love eggplant if you gave it a chance. After all, our taste buds change as we get older. So many things we once hated, we now love. Get thee some baba ghanoush now. :)

Lulu Barbarian said...

You are too funny! Semi-nude indeed! :-)

Jenster said...

I love eggplant but will not try to convert you, Ben, as that will leave more for me!

Those eggplant photos are hilarious.

Single Guy Ben said...

Amy, do you have any recommendations on which Chinese restaurant to try? I mean, I'm all adventurous when it comes to eating, but I don't know how many bad eggplant dishes I can take in order to find a good one!

Carolyn, OK, I may have to look for baba ghanoush soon. If it's good, then maybe I'll write a song about it because, really, it's the perfect name for a song!

Workshop Cooker said...

Try using it as a carrier for other delightful things. For instance, make up a tomato relish of some sort, grill some on the thinner side slices of eggplant and roll the relish up in the eggplant. Throw some cheese in there and you will change your mind. I used to think that they tasted like spongey dirt but i have changed my mind now that i can properly cook them.

saudade said...

One word: Ratatouille

foodhoe said...

teehee, how did I miss this post? You crack me up! A wonderful ode to the eggplant...