Solanum torvum

Solanum torvum – the pea eggplant

Solanum torvum is a small-shaped eggplant species in the family Solanaceae. Its fruits are as a small as berries, and have a bitter taste. It has several common names like pea eggplant, turkey berry, devil’s fig, , platebrush or susumber. In Vietnam, it’s known as cà nút áo (shirt button eggplant), but is often referred as cà đắng (bitter eggplant).

pea eggplants
Pea eggplants
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Genus: Solanum
  • Species: Solanum torvum
  • Synonyms: Solanum ferrugineum, Solanum mayanum, Solanum verapazense
  • English names: pea eggplant, turkey berry, devil’s fig, platebrush or susumber
  • Vietnamese names: cà nút áo, cà đắng, cà dại hoa trắng, mắc cạnh, trông lao
Solanum torvum
Pea eggplant shrubs – Solanum torvum

S. torvum is one of the two known bitter eggplants which is popular in the cuisine of the ethnic minorities group in Vietnam’s mountainous regions. It’s often combined with several bushfood in local dishes.

wild vegetables
Wild vegetables: wild bird’s eye chilis, striped bitter eggplants, pea eggplants, papaya flowers,cassava leaves.

Culinary uses

In Sơn La province, the pea eggplant is known locally as mắc nhung or mắc cạnh, and it’s cooked in a pea eggplant congee. The pea eggplants are also added to some local soups as well.

pea eggplant congee
Pea eggplant congee in Sơn La province
beef soup with vegetables including pea eggplants
Beef soup with vegetables including pea eggplants

In some mountainous districts of Phú Yên province, pea eggplant can be cooked in a soup along with other vegetables.

cassava leaves soup with pea eggplant
Cassava leaves soup with pea eggplants and pickled bamboo shouts

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