Las berenjenas en España son introducidas por los Árabes en el año 1200, y se cultivan en toda la zona mediterránea, especialmente en Almería, en Murcia, Castilla la Mancha y Canarias. En la zona norte se cultiva para uso familiar pero no comercial. Es una de las hortalizas más consumidas en la actualidad.
Cultivation of aubergines in Spain
We have two options for growing aubergines in Spain, outdoors and in a greenhouse, depending on the weather and the hours of sunshine.
Basically the varieties are produced: globose and elongated.
The colors: purple, marbled and white. We can also find black eggplants.
Eggplant is an annual plant that appears ornamental, with a powerful stem and large leaves, a deep root system, and fibrous roots.
- It requires enough hours of sun and not to have excessive humidity, this causes the leaves to fall, but it does not want dry soil either.
- The irrigation of aubergines in Spain depends on several factors:
- The weather.
- The season of the year.
- Local conditions.
- In general watering of eggplants.
- Eggplants require regular watering to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Sensor control is especially important.
- The frequency of irrigation should start before planting, be abundant at the beginning and decrease as it grows. You want a coverage that helps maintain moisture.
- Especially during the flowering season, the degree of humidity has a lot to do with it. The control with probes is very necessary, so that the production is greater. In greenhouses, we must control the humidity and prevent the branches from growing excessively, which harms the light from reaching the fruit. Sometimes it is convenient to carry out a pruning to reduce the branches.
- The soil must be loam, so that the root system develops correctly and waterlogging is avoided, as well as better retaining nutrients.
- The salinity and control with conductivity probes seriously harms it so that we can obtain high-yield plants.
- Eggplant pruning is an optional practice, but can be beneficial in promoting healthy growth and improving fruit set.
- As the diagram indicates, it is very important to leave three main branches and remove the shoots from the stem, to form a small tree that has a good support for the fruit. Start when the plant is about 30 centimeters tall.
- Pruning is done by hand or with disinfected scissors.
- Also in the main branches we will eliminate the shoots that act as suckers, because they do not favor the growth of the fruit.
- Place a stake to protect the plant. It can be vertical or cross-shaped, so we can stake the secondary branches.
Denominations of origin of aubergines in Spain
Spain is the second largest producer of aubergines, at a European level, after Italy, and the denomination of origin of the «berenjenas de Almagro» stands out in the province of Ciudad Real, small and rounded.
Pickles are specially marketed.
- They are collected small so that they are tender.
- Then we remove the part of the bract, the thorns and the final part of the peduncle.
- They are cooked between 5 and 15 minutes in salted water, ensuring that they are submerged.
- Prepare the pickle with a dressing of a liter of vinegar, for two kilos of aubergines, olive oil, salt, cumin, crushed garlic, paprika and water.
- We let them ferment for a minimum of 4 days in this preparation and they are ready to eat or canned.
Beneficios del consumo de berenjenas
The main thing when cooking aubergines is to let them rest once they have been split, sprinkled with salt so that they lose their bitterness.
Then we can have a lot of benefits with its consumption:
- Digestives cooked roasted for salads, stuffed. A little stronger if we eat them fried.
- Bajo contenido en grasa, por tanto, buenas en dietas de control del colesterol.
- Very good for diabetics.
- High content of vitamin b6, b1 and magnesium.
- High water and fiber content.