2020 55¢ Fruits and Vegetables – Eggplants
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 17, 2020
First Day City: Charleston, WV
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000
Eggplants are an unusual fruit (generally considered a vegetable in culinary uses) that was first grown in China and India. It was brought to the New World in the 1500s, but most people were too afraid to grow or eat it. This is because eggplants (along with tomatoes and potatoes) are in the same family as the deadly plant known as “nightshade.” In fact, it was not until around 200 years later that the idea of tomatoes being poisonous was dispelled.
While the most popular eggplant in the United States is a dark purple, there are many other varieties that come in different colors. Some of these include the Japanese Ping Tung eggplant (a medium purple color at the top, fading to light lavender near the bottom), Italian Rosa Bianca eggplant (light purple striped with white), and Thai eggplant (green and white). Each of these has its own distinct flavor and special culinary uses. For example, the Italian Rosa Bianca is commonly chosen for cooking the beloved dish eggplant parmesan.
Since eggplants are tolerant of heat and less-than-ideal soil conditions, they are commonly grown in outdoor containers. And, thanks to the many varieties available, they make an impressive looking garden on any patio or deck.