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Aubergine (eggplant), popular in a dozen Greek dishes from moussaka and imam bayildi to melitzanosalata and μελιτζάνα πολίτικη (melitzani politiki), made with tomatoes, green onions, garlic, walnuts and feta.

The Arcadian town of Leonidio, on the east coast of the Peloponnese, produces a long narrow tender PDO (ΠΟΠ) aubergine known as Tsakoniki or tsakonian eggplants, that are never ever bitter, they say because they grow on a plain right by the sea

tsakonian eggplants from Leonidio

Every August the town holds a festival celebrating their famous tsakonian melitzani, when over a tonne are prepared in a wide variety of ways, and there's music and dancing until dawn.

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by jandlseeds, melitzazz