Solanum Family - eggplant, Thai pepper
Thai Pepper - (Capsicum annuum): other varieties are grown as well, including the jalapeño, serrano, etc. The Thai peppers are very hot (hotter than the jalapeño and serrano), which does not diminish when cooked. Caterpillars, spider mites, aphids, viruses, and phytophthora root rot are all problems found in Fresno County. Capsaicin in the chili is responsible for the fiery heat and can burn the skin for up to 12 hours. Warm season.
Wear gloves when slicing the peppers and take care not to rub your eyes. Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, starchy foods help take away some of the heat in your mouth; definitely not beer, water. Chopped peppers fried lightly in oil for a sauce is used over any meat, fish, in noodle dishes and soups.
Eggplants - (Solanum melongena): The typical eggplant usually seen in the store is the globe- shaped American (see picture below). However, many of the other types are better tasting, such as the Chinese (long narrow shown in the picture to the left) and Japanese. Other Asian types include: Easter egg, Zebra, Hmong, teardrop, Italian, and Thai). Pest problems include hornworms, armyworms, spider mites, lygus, aphids, and thrips. Warm season.
Eggplant stems and caps are cut off, halved lengthwise, brushed lightly with oil, and grilled until tender. It combines well with other vegetables in sautés and casseroles. For kabobs cut into chunks and put on skewers. Various types of pickles are made depending on the country. Japanese submerge pieces into miso -a soybean paste- for three or four months. Eggplant chunks can be dipped in a tempura batter (flour, sugar, salt, egg, water) and deep-fried. Eat with a shrimp cocktail sauce for a great treat.