Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Nine - Eggplant Marriage Mondays - A little displaced

I love eggplant, I think it is such a versatile and delish veggie with a nice oomph to it. But a lot of the people who are quite close to me, do not like eggplant, why I'm not sure, but because of that, I seem to have not been eating eggplant enough.

Before we get to this week's contestants, let me give you a few fun eggplant facts:

1. It is considered a berry.
2. It is richer in nicotine than any other plant. The nicotine comes from the small seeds found in the center. These seeds contain nicotinoid alkaloids. You need to eat 20 lbs of eggplant before having received the same amount of nicotine as one cigarette.
3. It is native to India, obviously found worldwide nowadays. However production is very concentrated in five nations: China, India, Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia.
4. It is a source of folic acid and potassium.

Found in a variety of cuisines from French ratatouille to Italian eggplant parmigiana to Middle Eastern baba ganoush and Greek moussaka, it sure is featured in countless different ways! Let's learn about the contestants who will have the chance to be featured with our eggplant in this week's dosage of Marriage Mondays!

Contestant Number # 1: Grayson - Hailing from Meadow Creek Farms in the hills of Virginia, our first contestant is a washed rind stinker. Modeled on the fabulous old world Italian cheese, Taleggio, this cheese steps it up a notch. An orange exterior due to its brine washing, this cheese has a semi soft interior composed of cow's milk. Pungent yet sweet and smooth, tangy and in a weird way refreshing, in an awakening of the senses sort of manner, this cheese does not go silently into the night. Maybe it could find its match in a fantastic eggplant dish?

Contestant Number # 2: Eden - Hailing from Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia, this is a raw goat's milk cheese with a semi-firm texture rubbed with dried rosemary and basil and then consequently aged for two months. Herbal is the first thing you notice upon scent and taste with this cheese but it is that right sort of herbaceousness; like smelling a bouquet of just picked fresh herbs. Don't get me wrong here, it's not just about herbs, its got a nice tangy, grassy, and smooth side to it with a citrusy bright finish, this is a cheese that delights the senses! Will it be strong enough to delight our fellow eggplant?

Contestant Number # 3 : Redwood Hill Farm's Raw Milk Feta - Moving across the country to the wine making region of Sonoma in California, we land on our third contestant, Redwood Hill Farm's Raw Milk Feta. Obviously modeled on the classic Greek blockbuster cheese, Redwood subtracts the sheep's milk that is normally utilized in conjunction with goat's milk to make feta cheese. Here, we get strictly goat's milk feta and boy does it show! This cheese is bright and sunny with a nice salty, grassy tang, you cannot go wrong here. Will it be right with our eggplant?

Stay tuned to find out the results tomorrow!

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