A 1000 years old Spanish Aubergine
The Spanish Heirloom Almagro aubergine is from Arab origin. For over a thousand years, this unique aubergine has been processed traditionally the same way in the castilian, valencian and andalusian households. It was first mentioned in the XI century by the sevillan agronomist Abu Zacarias, in his "Book of Agriculture" as a vegetable along with instructions on how to preserve it in vinegar. The Almagro Aubergine is a small green and purple aubergine. PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in Spain, this aubergine is often used in starters, salads, goes well with tomatoes and cold meat or cooked. It is a medium size plant with small oval fruits. The Almagro flower calyx is quite different from the other aubergines varieties as it covers almost entirely the dark green with hints of purple fruit. Very early variety that will do well in short season climate so would do well in a polytunnel if sown early. The Spanish tradition is to harvest the unripe fruits and pickle or preserve them for instance in vinegar. Check the almagro aubergine recipe in our recipes section.
Scientific Name: Solanum melongena
Plant Life Cycle: annual
Optimal Germination Temperature: 24-30 °C
Germination time in days: 10-15 days
Indicative Days to maturity: 90-100 days
Sunlight: full sun
Soil requirement: fertile, deep, well drained
Sowing and cultivation: Start indoors 8 to 12 weeks before last frost. Sow seed at 1/2 cm at soil temperature of 23C and lightly cover. Plant in polytunnel or transplant out when they are at least two sets of leaves after danger of frost. It is advised to stake the plant. Space plants by 60-80 cm.