The bitter eggplant
The bitter eggplant is one or several wild eggplant species native to Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Its fruits are green and white on the exterior, and pretty much similar to the Thai Kermit eggplant cultivar or the yellow-fruit nightshade (Solanum virginianum). However, the yellow-fruit nightshade has purple flowers, but this bitter plant has white flowers.
The bitter eggplant variety is known as cà đắng in Vietnamese, which literally means “bitter eggplant”. It is popular in the cuisine of ethnic people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, especially in Đắk Lắk, KomTum, Gia Lai, Đắk Nông provinces.
The bitter eggplant previously grows wild throughout the mountainous areas of the Central Highlands. Nowadays, it is grown by in home gardens by the ethnic people as a food crop. The bitter eggplant bears fruits all year round, and its fruits is bigger than the common Vietnamese eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon).
The bitter eggplant can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked. The indigenous community of Ede, M’Nong, Gia Rai, Chu Ru… ethnic people can cook the bitter eggplant in many ways: braised with beef or dried fish, cooked in soups, salads, and stir fry dishes…