Melanzana rossa

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The Solanum aethiopicum is a plant, which looks similar to common eggplants (Solanum melongena), but its round fruit becomes red like tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and it is often confused with them.

Even though its appearance is often cause of confusion, its smell is unmistakeable and its peculiarity is the pulp, which does not oxidise after cutting. It appears that the seeds of this particular eggplant (named for its peculiar appearance Merlingiana a Pummadora, which means tomato eggplant), have been brought by a soldier, who was coming back from the war in Abyssinia, around 1896. This plant has been cultivated by some firms in Italy in the municipality of Rotonda, in Massiccio del Pollino and in Valle del Mercure in Basilicata; in Campania in the province of Salerno, in Santa Marina and a Policastro (territories near Basilicata, of the Cilento area). In the past it has risked extinction, but the enhancement given by tour operators, farmers and some institutional authorities, who promoted its usage and cultivation, has led to its acknowledgement as Slow Food Presidium and to the nomination for receiving the DOP mark, which was given in 2007. Nowadays, it is sold and known in Italy as red eggplant of Rotonda or tomato eggplant (from the Lucania name merlingiana a pummadora).

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)



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