Check out the orange eggplants I picked up at the farmer’s market last Sunday! Aren’t they cool? I’ve seen purple, green and white eggplants before but never orange! They look like tomatoes or miniature pumpkins but, I assure you, they really are eggplants. Unfortunately, I don’t know what variety they are. To me, they look a lot like Turkish Orange Eggplants, but I was told that they are actually a Thai variety. These eggplants are from one of my favorite stands at the farmer’s market, Alvarez Farms. They had eight or nine varieties of eggplants for sale (as well as enough peppers to rival what I saw in Santa Fe)! In addition to the wacky orange eggplants, I picked up some Thai green eggplants and a larger purple and white striped eggplant.

The man I spoke with at Alvarez Farms informed me that, compared to purple eggplants, the orange eggplants have a bit more “bite” to them. Eggplant can sometimes be bitter so I was hoping that “bite” wasn’t some sort of polite term for bitter. He suggested that I use them in curry so that’s exactly what I did. I made a simple Thai red curry with orange and green eggplants, tofu and basil. Even though I overcooked the eggplants slightly, they remaining relatively firm and didn’t get slimy at all (woo-hoo!) The flavor was nice and, well, eggplant-y. It may have been a tad on the bitter side, but I actually didn’t mind; it was well-matched to the spicy curry. Unlike the green and purple varieties, these eggplants didn’t lose their fiery orange color once cooked. It made my curry so pretty. If you see any orange eggplants at your market, be sure to pick them up!


  1. They look and sound great. I have an eggplant curry recipe I’d love to try with these!

    Comment by Snackreligious — September 4, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  2. I am growing some of these, and the first harvested are incredibly bitter. I cooked them with olive oil and garlic and fresh basil leaves, and although they tasted delicious on initial bite, the rapidly arriving aftertaste was so intensely bitter I was scared to finish them. I actually thought they might be poisonous.

    I have never experienced bitter eggplant/aubergine before, the dark purple ones never seem to be bitter at all. But having Googled about the problem I will try soaking the next harvest of orange ones in brine for a while.

    Comment by istara — March 11, 2009 @ 3:44 am

  3. The orange eggplants definately are a feast for the eyes, but I don’t think they fare as well on the tastebuds. Not having any exprience with the Turkish variety, I planted some in my garden this year. As has been noted above, they do have a bitter taste. I think this comes from the peeling which is slightly tougher than the standard purple variety. I grilled some a couple of nights ago and noticed that they were less bitter when I separated the eggplant from the skin.( a messy undertaking to say the least) I have looked on the internet for recipies specific to the Turkish variety but haven’t found any. I wonder how they cook them in Istanbul??? Using them in curry sounds like a good way to “neutralize” the bitterness. I’ll try that next time.

    Comment by Rufus B — July 21, 2009 @ 6:16 am

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