Roasted with a splash of olive oil, a twist of garlic or dash of hot chilli, aubergines are sensuously salivating. The vegetables are immediately recognisable by their iconic phallic or bulbous breast-like shape, coated in a layer of waxy, deep purple skin and tender white flesh, spongy to the touch. Narrating her own culinary heritage and nostalgic memories of plates of steaming curry, baba ghanoush and succulent vegetarian schnitzel, Nat Muller lovingly traces the erotic connotations of the plants. Encompassing the kitchen-sink poetry of Erica Jong, an innuendo-laden exchange of emojis and the invigorating history of aubergine aphrodisiacs, Nat serves up a ravenously raunchy tale of the eggplant or brinjal. From an inaugural romantic dinner gone wrong to her husband’s sure-handed slicing, she uncovers aubergines as a love language, one that speaks across continents and generations.
Many thanks to Krishna Sutedja for his composition, performed by Gamelan Mudrasvara in Ubud, Bali and to the WNYC Archives for the 1971 interview with poet and novelist Erica Jong. Introduction and outro voiced by Johnny Vivash. Editing and sound design by Tobias Withers. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Artwork by Karel Martens. Produced by the Extra Extra team.