The papeton from Avignon and a little history about eggplant

The papetonThe papeton | ©Marianne Casamance / CC-BY-SA

What’s this?

The papeton is a culinary speciality from Avignon, made of cooked eggplants mixed with eggs, served with a tomato sauce.

A Provencal recipe, pretty unknown!

The papeton was named after popes (papes in French): the legend says they were fond of this meal...

The little history

So, what’s the main ingredient? Eggplant!

Do you know where does this vegetable come from?

From Asia (India). The eggplant (aubergine) arrived in France at the end of the 15th century.

But it had a bad reputation: Italians called it melanzana, from mala insana, ″bad apple″!

In the 12th century, Hildegard of Bingen mentioned it as megilana in her book Physica: she said it was good to cure ″scrofulas″, pustules and ulcers!

In the 12th century, doctor Arnaud de Villeneuve mentioned the eggplant as melongena and didn’t recommend it!

People cultivated it since a long time in Provence and in Languedoc (Southern France), thanks to the hot climate.