Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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susumber Solanum torvum, a tropical bush which is related to the aubergine, but bears only small fruits the size of peas, sometimes known as ‘pea eggplants’ (eggplant being another name for aubergine). There is some cultivation in the W. Indies and in SE Asia, and the fruits have started to appear in N. American oriental markets.

The fruits are bitter. They are used in Jamaica, when unripe, to give a puckery flavour to salt dried codfish (akee) or freshwater crayfish, or in soups and stews.

They are eaten in curry-type dishes in Malaysia, for example, again being preferred unripe. They can be added raw to chilli sauces such as the nam prik of Thailand; and they are also pickled.