The pink eggplant: description
Among the new varieties, the pink aubergine should certainly be mentioned and, more specifically, the “round white aubergine shaded with pink”. This type is now very common in central Italy: it is appreciated by families, but also by the great chefs for its fleshy flesh, consistent and tasty, with very few seeds and no bitter notes at the time of harvest. The fruits are very large (up to 400 grams), round (sometimes with vertical grooves) and slightly crushed at the top.
The skin is thin, mostly white, but there are slight light purple streaks that, overall, make it appear pinkish. The plant is also large and therefore needs adequate space for cultivation.
Where to buy the pink eggplant?
As we have said, this is a growing cultivar: the strong demand has made it easier to find first for farmers and now also for hobbyists. Those who devote themselves to sowing have an easy life: they can ask in agricultural consortia or in shops specializing in seeds; in the last instance, looking on the Internet, we will have no difficulty.
Those who are looking for ready seedlings will have to go to specialized dealers asking if they have availability of this variety or, possibly, show interest already in mid-winter so that they can get it or proceed to professional sowing. Also in this case the last chance is to buy online: there is no shortage of nurseries that sell special or sought after vegetables by mail order.
Sowing the pink eggplant
The cultivation is no different from that of a normal eggplant. It is advisable to proceed with indoor sowing as soon as possible: from December onwards, depending also on our geographical location. For a good germination is essential to provide heat (at least 20 ° C), humidity, air and much light. The ideal is to use honeycomb trays: they avoid stagnation and facilitate optimal rooting.
When the first leaves appear, remember to expose yourself to very intense light: it is important for a compact and vigorous growth. Before transferring into larger containers or in the open field, it is necessary to wait at least two months, i.e. a minimum height of 10 cm. In the case of a “potted garden”, therefore on a balcony or terrace, we recommend choosing large and deep containers.
Cultivation of the pink eggplant
Let’s work in depth and well in advance of the area, incorporating, possibly already in autumn, mature manure. The soil must be rich, but loose and draining. Transplanting in open field should be done from March to May. To obtain the best development and fructification, it is essential to distance the plants considerably: at least 80 cm between the rows and on the row, placing the tutors immediately. The pots should have a diameter and depth of at least 40 cm.
During the development we distribute several times a granular fertilizer for the garden, rich in potassium and with a good supply of microelements. Important for the quality of the harvest are the exposure (as sunny as possible) and irrigation. Water must never be missing: the size of the fruit will be larger and the taste sweeter.
Harvesting and cultivation
Harvesting already begins in May in the southern regions, while in the north, especially if no greenhouses are used, it is necessary to wait until July. The product must be removed from the plant when it is still immature: the flesh must be compact and the seeds very small. We will gain in taste and shelf life. The ideal is to operate early in the morning, cutting the petiole with scissors.
Of course, we recommend that you consume them as soon as possible, but you can store them in different ways. In the fridge, fresh, they are kept for about a week. However, we can also cook and place them in jars, in oil or vinegar, alone or with other vegetables. Another possibility is to grill them or lightly burn them in water and then put them in the freezer, in special bags.
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