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Old 03-19-2018, 09:25 PM   #1
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Eggplant in Mexican Cuisine

I recently visited the neighborhood Hispanic supermarket(Latino? I canít keep up with the PC terms!). Itís always an adventure for me. And their fresh tortillas are amazing. And they have heads-on shrimp.

They were having a sale on eggplant. 5 really large eggplant for a dollar! But I canít recall eggplant figuring very large in Latin American cuisine. Do any of you fine chefs know of a Central or South American dish that features eggplant? (Iím making involtini with mine. Itís italian and I guess you canít get more ďLatinĒ than that...)

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Old 03-19-2018, 10:58 PM   #2
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I love our nearby Mexican market for the produce too Joel although I've not seen eggplant there, but I love eggplant. You made me curious enough to look around and I'd like to try this recipe, although I'm tempted to add diced Chorizo Spam to the mix. Don't laugh..it's darn good stuff and I've used it often. It has all of the flavor, without any nasty parts.
Anyway, check this out...
Mexican Eggplant Aubergine) Casserole Recipe - Genius Kitchen
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:16 PM   #3
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There's lots of recipes for berenjenas, from roasted, to stewed, to eggplant "boats" filled with pork and plantains.

I've only had them at baseball parties (the teams I coached were largely Dominican kids), but they were delicious.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:33 PM   #4
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I recently visited the neighborhood Hispanic supermarket(Latino? I canít keep up with the PC terms!). Itís always an adventure for me. And their fresh tortillas are amazing. And they have heads-on shrimp.

They were having a sale on eggplant. 5 really large eggplant for a dollar! But I canít recall eggplant figuring very large in Latin American cuisine. Do any of you fine chefs know of a Central or South American dish that features eggplant? (Iím making involtini with mine. Itís italian and I guess you canít get more ďLatinĒ than that...)
It is okay to call them Mexican markets. After all, there is nothing wrong with being Mexican. People who live in, or come from Mexico are Mexican... nothing non-PC about that. Living in Texas, I have Mexican immigrant friends and colleagues, and they shop at Mexican markets, and so do I. This whole "can't say Mexican" thing is actually a lot of argument over nothing by people who just like to fight with each other. Yes, it is okay to say "Mexican."

Eggplant is used in some parts of Mexico. Keep in mind, Mexico is a big country, and has many regional cuisines. Mexican food is not monolithic. It is like most regional and cultural foods, based on what was available when and where it originated.

I have not gone into eggplant in Mexico because I don't like eggplant... period. So there may be many Mexican eggplant dishes out there. But, due to my dislike for eggplant, I'll never find them.

But, there are sooooo many really good foods from all over Mexico, by all means, search them out -- including eggplant.

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Old 03-19-2018, 11:37 PM   #5
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Now that I recall, I've had Mofongo made with eggplant.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:43 PM   #6
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It is okay to call them Mexican markets. After all, there is nothing wrong with being Mexican. People who live in, or come from Mexico are Mexican... nothing non-PC about that. Living in Texas, I have Mexican immigrant friends and colleagues, and they shop at Mexican markets, and so do I. This whole "can't say Mexican" thing is actually a lot of argument over nothing by people who just like to fight with each other. Yes, it is okay to say "Mexican."

Eggplant is used in some parts of Mexico. Keep in mind, Mexico is a big country, and has many regional cuisines. Mexican food is not monolithic. It is like most regional and cultural foods, based on what was available when and where it originated.

I have not gone into eggplant in Mexico because I don't like eggplant... period. So there may be many Mexican eggplant dishes out there. But, due to my dislike for eggplant, I'll never find them.

But, there are sooooo many really good foods from all over Mexico, by all means, search them out -- including eggplant.

CD
Casey, I've found that most Mexican and central Americans don't speak up much about being "simply called" Mexican, although it's a misnomer with possibly mildly racist overtones. Kinda like calling all Asian looking people Chinese.
Depends on the situation.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:35 AM   #7
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As an aside and for the record, it's more than okay to call them Mexican markets..that's what they are and with my heritage I'm in the minority in this little town.
My love of Mexican food is something I treasure because of the people here.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:37 AM   #8
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I think eggplant is used in Greek-Mexican fusion cuisine (google it!).

As far as the PC stuff, here's an article from a Mexican with a sense of humor:

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlo...nt?oid=2495749
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:59 AM   #9
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I think eggplant is used in Greek-Mexican fusion cuisine (google it!).

As far as the PC stuff, here's an article from a Mexican with a sense of humor:

https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlo...nt?oid=2495749
That’s very funny! Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:05 AM   #10
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People, I hesitated to call it a Mexican market because it’s not a Mexican market! They have customers and products from all over Central and South America. They have Peruvian cheese! I didn’t even know they made cheese in Peru! Most of the merchandise is Mexican, though, and the food court is decidedly Mexican.

The best perk of living near La Bonita? Warm, fresh tortillas!
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #11
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I just went through two of my cookbooks which are Mexican. The only eggplant recipe listed is Eggplant with Coconut milk, and the author states that it has a Caribbean influence.

I call my Hispanic market ( which sells a variety of nations foods Guatemala, El Salvidor..) the Mexican market, just because of all Hispanic based foods, i primarily only cook Mexican and thats where i get my supplies. For the same reason i call the Asian market ( which sells, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese supplies) the Chinese market and the Indian market I which sells Indian, Pakistani...) the Indian market. I even call the Health food store, which sells anything from vegetarian and vegan products to organic meats, the Vegetarian store. Just call them what makes sense to me.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:38 AM   #12
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I just went through two of my cookbooks which are Mexican. The only eggplant recipe listed is Eggplant with Coconut milk, and the author states that it has a Caribbean influence.

I call my Hispanic market ( which sells a variety of nations foods Guatemala, El Salvidor..) the Mexican market, just because of all Hispanic based foods, i primarily only cook Mexican and thats where i get my supplies. For the same reason i call the Asian market ( which sells, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese supplies) the Chinese market and the Indian market I which sells Indian, Pakistani...) the Indian market. I even call the Health food store, which sells anything from vegetarian and vegan products to organic meats, the Vegetarian store. Just call them what makes sense to me.
That seems to be the most sensible approach! I actually call La Bonita the bodega, even though a bodega is usually considered to be a local small grocery, and La Bonita is a pretty huge supermarket with a butcher and seafood counter (that’s where I get my heads-on shrimp), a food court, and an on-site bakery (did I mention warm fresh tortillas?).

I just like the word “bodega.” LOL
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:45 PM   #13
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When I worked in Chile they were very common in the markets (suspect from the Italian influence).

This is one way I saw it served. Receta de LasaŮa de Berenjena | Gourmet
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:35 PM   #14
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Casey, I've found that most Mexican and central Americans don't speak up much about being "simply called" Mexican, although it's a misnomer with possibly mildly racist overtones. Kinda like calling all Asian looking people Chinese.
Depends on the situation.
The markets here, like Fiesta, are Mexican markets... that also have other foods from central, and even the US. But, they are Mexican markets, because they get most of their income from Mexican immigrants, and "gringos" like me that like what they sell. I can get stuff at Fiesta that I can't get anywhere else... and their produce department is pure produce heaven.

I have also found that if someone is from a central American country other than Mexico, they will correct you politely. They understand it is hard to tell the difference from a name.

My family lived in Puerto Rico for three years, and I can usually tell the difference between them and Mexican Americans by their accents. Puerto Ricans speak a different Spanish, a more traditional Spanish, and the accent when they speak English is slightly different. The names are often different, too.

Anyway, my point was that we sometimes take the PC thing more seriously than the people we talk about do. I have friends from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Columbia. With the possible exception of one of those friends, they don't get bent out of shape if someone thinks they are Mexican. But, that guy gets bent out of shape about lots of things.

But, I have spent a lifetime having my last name misspelled and mispronounced. I actually get a kick out of the most ridiculous mispronunciations. People often add a couple syllables to my name when they try to read it and say it. I just correct them with a smile, and if they are embarrassed, I try to make them feel better about butchering my name. I know they didn't do it on purpose.

CD
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:58 PM   #15
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But, I have spent a lifetime having my last name misspelled and mispronounced. I actually get a kick out of the most ridiculous mispronunciations. People often add a couple syllables to my name when they try to read it and say it. I just correct them with a smile, and if they are embarrassed, I try to make them feel better about butchering my name. I know they didn't do it on purpose.

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To expand on that a little bit Casey I didn't change my name when I married Souschef ten years ago. I had a perfectly nice and easy last name and his is a pain. Someone is always mispronouncing his and since his name is published often, I'll tell you his last name is Goch. I always laugh when he tells folks it rhymes with Scotch.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:01 PM   #16
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His last name is a Klingon delicacy?

THAT IS SO COOL!

Q'plah! house of K-L!

(you know, that works )
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:18 PM   #17
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To expand on that a little bit Casey I didn't change my name when I married Souschef ten years ago. I had a perfectly nice and easy last name and his is a pain. Someone is always mispronouncing his and since his name is published often, I'll tell you his last name is Goch. I always laugh when he tells folks it rhymes with Scotch.
But.... one alternative is a synonym for "tacky." Oh... is that the right pronunciation? Sorry.

A lot of people see my last name, and panic, which makes it easy to add more to it than what it is. BTW, Mexicans NEVER mispronounce it. It's Italian, and they get it right every time.

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Old 03-21-2018, 01:30 AM   #18
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...But, I have spent a lifetime having my last name misspelled and mispronounced...
It has its advantages. When we still had a landline and got telemarketing calls, it was a great way to separate the telemarketers from people who actually know us! Yes, we have one of those confusing-to-pronounce last names, too.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:38 AM   #19
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Despite being a member of the nightshade family, eggplant is native to India, not Central or South America. So it would have come to the Americas with the Europeans and wouldn't be as common in Mexican and other communities down that way.

Here on the East Coast, and especially in the area where I live, with a large military presence - primarily Navy, with a solid contingent of Puerto Ricans - we call them Latin markets. Except for the one gigantic International Market, because it has a huge inventory of Asian ingredients as well.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:43 PM   #20
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But.... one alternative is a synonym for "tacky." Oh... is that the right pronunciation? Sorry.

A lot of people see my last name, and panic, which makes it easy to add more to it than what it is. BTW, Mexicans NEVER mispronounce it. It's Italian, and they get it right every time.

CD
Reminds me of moving (1962) to a small California town with a prominent Portuguese population. A friend I made there was named Gomes.. He was adamant that no one thought his name was Mexican (Gomez)... At the time, I never quite understood why..

Ross
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