Contrary to a once-popular belief, eating eggplant does not cause insanity. Eggplant, once referred to as “mala insane” or the raging apple, was thought to cause a host of ailments. Grown first in India and Pakistan 4,000 years ago, eggplants are members of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Thomas Jefferson loved his vegetables. Disregarding the eggplant’s bad reputation, he introduced it into his Monticello garden.
My dad always called them Chinese Apples. I’m talking about pomegranates, the jeweled-looking fruit that makes its way to our markets from late fall through early winter. The pomegranate’s sparkly, ruby-red, gem-like seeds seemed so exotic to me way back when. They were a fascinating fruit, those little, edible jewels. Found right before Christmas, we always purchased one to just take apart and to eat.