Eggplant, which is also known as "eggfruit," "aubergine," "brinjal," "gilos," "guinea squash," "mad apple" and "nasubi," is a fruit that starts with the letter "E." Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables, which includes tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. It is commonly mistaken for a vegetable, but because it has seeds, it is botanically classified as a fruit.
The average size of an eggplant is 6 to 9 inches long, and the fruit normally bears a characteristically purple color. However, there are some varieties that are green, gold or white. The purple color is derived from the pigment anthocyanin, which is also found in other flowers, fruits and vegetables that have red, purple or blue coloring. The eggplant is a tropical native that generally does very well in low desert climates as long as it receives a minimum of 5 months of steady sunshine.
In 2012, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reported that nearly 90 percent of eggplant production is consolidated to five main countries: China, India, Iran, Egypt and Turkey. Of these five countries, China produces 58 percent of the world's eggplant output. The FAO also reported that 4 million acres of land are devoted to growing of eggplants worldwide.