A plant of the family Solanaceae (also known as the nightshades) and genus Solanum. It bears a fruit of the same name, commonly used in cooking. As a nightshade, it is closely related to the tomato and potato and is native to India.
The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds,
which are edible, but are bitter because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.
Eggplant has a documented history of being grown as food, as early as the year 544, where it is mentioned in the Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise.
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