By Jayne Cohen
“Jews’ food,” they called eggplant in mid-nineteenth century Florence, according to Italian food historian Pellegrino Artusi in The Art of Eating Well (1891).
They were right, of course. Introduced first into Italy by the Sephardim, who had fallen in love with the meaty vegetable in Arab Spain, eggplants later came to be prized as well by Jews throughout the Balkans, Romania, and in whatever parts of Russia they would grow.
Rich and substantial, satin-skinned eggplant