The aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a plant of the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshades) and the genus Solanum. It bears a fruit of the same name, which is often used in the kitchen as a vegetable. It has been grown in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory and in the 16th century the Spanish and Portuguese introduced the fruit to Europe.
The most widely grown cultivated varieties (cultivars) in Europe and North America today are elongated and egg-shaped, 12-25 cm long with a dark purple skin.
The raw fruit has a neutral flavour and acquires a richer taste when prepared. It can be combined very well with basil, garlic and thyme.
The fruit is stored best in a cool and dark place, but not in the refrigerator.