Scientific Name : Solanum melongena
Common Names : Eggplant (English), talong (Tagalog). Aubergine (Britain), beringela (Portuguese), brinjal (India), guinea squash (English), baingan, melanzana (Italy)
Talong or eggplant in english (Solanum melongena) is a fruit of a plant called of the same name of the family Solanaceae (also known as the nightshades) and genus Solanum. Talong is a popular vegetable known for its beautiful shape and color as well as for its unique taste and texture. Talong are related to potato, tomato and bell peppers where the fruits hang from the vines of a plant. Talong is commonly used in cooking.
Talong plant is a perennial plant said to be native from India but has long been brought and cultivated in tropical and subtropical places including the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Japan and even in Spain, France, Turkey and many other countries for its fruits. Talong has many varieties but the most common grows 40 to 200 cm tall, with large green coarsely lobed leaves about 10 to 20 cm long and 5 to 10 cm broad. Talong fruit depending on variety is either pear-shaped egg (where its English name was derived) or elongated cylindrical oblong with varying colors and sizes. But the most common talong fruits in the Philippines have a characteristic glossy skin that is deep purple in color. Talong fruit has a spongy cream colored flesh with seeds arranged in a conical pattern. The stems are usually spiny while talong flowers are white to purple in color.
Talong as a vegetable is commonly used in cooking, either baked, roasted or boiled with other vegetables and meat. Talong has a characteristically slight bitter taste but has agreeable taste when cooked.