Season: July to October
Description: The eggplant comes from the same Nightshade family as the tomato, potato and the pepper. Up until a few centuries ago the eggplant was believed to induce insanity and was known as the "Mad Apple." Native to South East Asia, the Eggplant was first introduced to America by Thomas Jefferson in 1806, but didn't become popular for eating until about 50 years ago. Although its purple shade is most commonly known, this fruited vegetable comes in a wide array of colors not to mention shapes and sizes. In fact, the name eggplant is derived from the white and yellow hen's egg variety of 18th century Europe. The eggplant has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and block the formation of free radicals. It is also a good source of folic acid and potassium. In the U.S., New Jersey is the largest producer of eggplant, so you can expect a wide variety of options at your local market.