I have grown a variety of eggplants over the years. I have had a mixed bag of success, but an old French Heirloom known as White Casper caught my attention when I heard it tasted similar to mushroom back in 2010. I thought, at the time; come on an eggplant that has a mushroom flavor?
Well, I tossed aside my purple eggplants to trial a white one back in 2010. It was, and IS amazing! I have been saving seed for this little beauty ever since. It truly does have a mushroom flavor. I don’t eat any fried foods these days, but fried eggplant, well that is a must!
I bread/coat mine with an organic whole wheat bread mixture. I heat it up lightly and try to minimize the oil used in cooking since I feel guilty eating fried food. I remember the OLD days where we never worried about frying foods in oil. My father was from the South, so I grew up with a lot of good old fried chicken. None of us eat that stuff these days, but I can’t give up my breaded eggplant each summer. I must confess; I can eat a whole fried eggplant myself!
In fact, when I was younger growing up near Lake Michigan smelt season started in April, which was near my birthday. When my mother would ask me; What do you want for your birthday dinner? It was always freshly caught smelt, rice, and fried eggplant! If you grew up near Chicago and know about smelt season, then you know what I am talking about when I mention smelt. It was a tradition. Sadly, that tradition is fading for the smelt are declining, but that is another story for this post is about eggplant.
Casper eggplant is compact in size and perfect for containers. I grew all mine in pots last year and I had more than enough eggplant from just five plants. Casper eggplant is very prolific. It takes about 70 days from transplants to produce a 5″ to 7″ eggplant which is a perfect size for eating.
The eggplants I remember from childhood were large with hard skin.I enjoy the fact you do not have to peel these eggplants. The skin is never bitter. Well, I have to admit they are a bit smaller than the large ones we all grew up with that came from the local farm stand or grocery store. These are pretty small in comparison, and easy for one person to eat one by themselves, right?
I wrote a few years ago about growing Heirloom Casper eggplant. I mentioned back then that I loved fried eggplant, and you can see that it still is one of my favorite ways to eat garden eggplant! A few days ago, I made a huge eggplant parmesan, and it was delicious. I found a recipe that had directions for the proper way to bread eggplant; you need three bowls. You put flour in one, egg in the other, and bread crumbs in the last bowl (in that order bread). I use to use only the egg mix and bread crumbs which are a messy job, but so worth the mess! I did sneak a few fried eggplant for myself before I made a large batch of eggplant casserole for everyone! YUM! (me in 2013) As you can see, I have not changed. I hope you decide to give this little Heirloom from France a try this summer. I don’t believe you will be disappointed.