New “Meatball” Eggplant Serves as Meat Alternative

Hybrid seeds of new meat-like eggplant are outselling those of tomatoes and peppers.


Seeds of a new hybrid breed of eggplant—dubbed the “meatball” eggplant due to its hearty texture—is outselling those of popular vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, according to W. Atlee Burpee & Co. seed company CEO George Ball. The innovative plant is advertised as “the mightiest, meatiest eggplant ever. Imagine fresh, homegrown, vine-ripened meat: that’s ‘Meatball.’” Ball told The Associated Press that Meatball’s water content is higher, which results in less absorption of oil when frying, creating a favorable texture. Preparation suggestions include using as cutlets, in stir-frys, pastas, curries, dips, salads, or mashed for baba ganoush. A 2015 survey revealed that food service suppliers aren’t delivering enough plant-based protein to meet high consumer demand. Luckily, Meatball can be grown within 55 to 78 days, depending on location.

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