The eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family, cultivated for its edible fruit.
Eggplant was imported to the Middle East and the Mediterranean in the 7th century and therefore does not have a Latin or Greek name.
In Italy it was initially called petonciana or also petronciano. To avoid misunderstandings about its properties , the first part of the name was changed to apple thus giving rise to the term Melangian and then eggplant. The italian name “melanzana”, in particular, was popularly interpreted also as an unhealthy apple, precisely because it is not edible when raw.