The Tale of Hansel and Gretel

Gretel eggplantHansel eggplantOK, I’ll admit it. Part of what drew me to the Hansel and Gretel miniature eggplants were their names. Wouldn’t it be fun to pair these two varieties, I thought–Hansel with its deep purple fruits, and Gretel with its smooth ivory ones–and see which did better? (The fact that both had been named as All America Selections and would fit in my container garden didn’t hurt, either.)

So far, in this game of horticultural sibling rivalry, Gretel is leading. She was first to bear fruit, producing these spectacular white eggplants (above). The fruit has a tender skin, so you don’t need to peel it–a real plus–there are very few seeds, and the taste is superb. Tonight, several of Gretel’s first fruits went into our ratatouille (below right). Because we had only a few that were large enough to harvest, we had to supplement with eggplant from the market. But that only showed off how superior the Gretels are–sweet and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Ratatouille a la Gretel My husband immediately declared that he could eat “Ratatouille à la Gretel” seven days a week.

But Hansel has produced something I’ve never seen in an eggplant before–twins! Check out the two baby eggplants growing from the same flower (above right). Ain’t it grand? I can’t wait until they’re large enough to eat. Then we’ll plop some into a new batch of ratatouille (along with tasty heirloom tomatoes, plus basil, parsley, and thyme from the garden) and find out which sibling eggplant is the true winner.

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2 Responses to The Tale of Hansel and Gretel

  1. ina says:

    I just happened upon the Gretel variety for the first time this year. It has been awesome to watch grow and develop. I expected 3 fruits based on the blossoms the plant had put forth; I bought the plant well mature – and not from seed or small plant. I now have7 fruits of various size (only 1 is ready to be picked). I do not want to leave the 1 ready to pick on the vine too long to lose it. I am watching closely to pull at any sign of loosing its great white, shiny, and firmness. Any hints are welcome.

  2. loudeana morton says:

    I heard about this variety of eggplant from P Allen Smith on Channel 13.3 Create. I am a first time gardener this year and wanted to try my hand at growing it in my raised bed for this fall 2017.

    The previous comment was helpful. Thank you.

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