~200g. Class 1. Although it’s technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a vegetable. It’s native to Southeast Asia but is grown worldwide, and there are many different varieties. They include the bulbous, glossy, deep purple zeppelin type common to Mediterranean cuisine; the small and plump ivory-coloured aubergine from the United States and Australia (referred to as eggplant); or the much smaller varieties grown in Thailand. They all share the same mildly smoky flavour and a spongy texture when raw but soft when cooked. Aubergine is found baked in a Greek moussaka or Provençale ratatouille; roasted and puréed with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and cumin for the Middle Eastern dip baba ganoush; and even thinly sliced and fried to make aubergine crisps.