Burpee Intros Stunning New Varieties for 2016 Gardening Season
Revolutionary ‘Meatball’ Eggplant Healthful Alternative to Meat
WARMINSTER, PA (Dec. 7, 2015) — Americans are cutting down on meat consumption to both lower fat and cholesterol intake and to save money. Responding to this growing trend, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., America’s home gardening industry leader since 1876, will introduce a revolutionary new eggplant for 2016 specially bred for texture and flavor. It just might be, says Burpee, the best meat substitute ever.
Heading the lineup of breakthrough new items for Bucks County, PA-based Burpee for 2016 is ‘Meatball’, a delicious new eggplant that will make culinary history, according to Burpee. ‘Meatball’s density and texture make it a suitable meat substitute—as a “hamburger,” eggplant steak “cutlet” or in any recipe calling for meat.
“Whether you bake, fry or grill it, ‘Meatball’s texture and flavor are amazingly like beef,” says George Ball, Burpee’s chairman and chief executive. What makes ‘Meatball’ a game-changer, he notes, is the sweet, succulent, buttery taste, and dense, meaty consistency.
For many years, home gardener-chefs seeking healthful meat substitutes have had to rely on conventional eggplant varieties, according to Mr. Ball. Thanks to Burpee’s breeders–who have combined the best traits from heirlooms and hybrids, he adds, ‘Meatball’ overcomes three eggplant gripes: seeds with a bitter aftertaste, surplus water, and fast-oxidizing flesh that quickly turns brown. ‘Meatball’s meaty texture, overall mouthfeel and flavor make it an eggplant like no other.
'Meatball' Cutlets and 'Madame Marmande'
Mr. Ball predicts eggplants will soon be the “new kale.” Like culinary superstar kale, eggplant offers rich flavor, big nutritional dividends, and a multitude of delicious uses. “Eggplant is the most versatile food there is,” he notes.
Eggplant, Mr. Ball explains, excels as an entrée, appetizer, sauce, in salads, or dessert. In addition to eggplant “steaks” and “burgers,” favorite dishes include eggplant parmagiana, baba ghanouj, moussaka, pasta alla Norma, ratatouille—and, for dessert, melanzane al cioccolato.
Kale’s emergence as a favorite of home gardeners and chefs is a recent phenomenon, according to Mr. Ball. Until the last few years, sales of kale lagged far behind other leafy greens. “There was a kale cult,” he adds, “but it was a small one.” Now kale ranks among the leading dark, leafy greens sold to home gardeners.
For 2016, Burpee is introducing ‘Kale Storm’: a kale salad mix that comes in easy-sowing seed pellets with three different varieties: purple, green and blue. The kale mix, a Burpee exclusive, is pretty enough to merit planting in a patio container—putting a healthy snack just a snip away.
Burpee’s 2016 annual catalog, due out in time for the new year, features an outstanding collection of new vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits.
‘Cherry Baby’ Hybrid tomato
‘A La Carte’ Hybrid spinach
‘Little Darling’ Hybrid watermelon
‘Little SnapPea Crunch’ Snap pea
‘Royal Tenderette’ Hybrid broccoli
‘Aphrodite’ Hybrid cantaloupe
‘The Wrinkles Family’ Collection pumpkins
Sedum ‘Oriental Dancer’
Heliopsis ‘Sweet Sunshine’
Echinacea purpurea, ‘Butterfly Kisses’
Hydrangea quercifolia, ‘Queen of Hearts’
Perovskia atriplicifolia, ‘Rocketman’
Sunflower, ‘Crimson Blaze’
Petunia, ‘Night Sky’
Flowering Basil, ‘Snow White’
Verbena rigida, ‘Santos Purple’
Marigold, ‘Triple Treat’
Stoechas, ‘Bandera Purple’
Cosmos, ‘Cupcake White’
Celosia, ‘Dragon's Breath’
Dianthus barbatus, ‘JoltTM Cherry’
Zinnia, ‘Double Zahara Yellow’
Fig, ‘Violette de Bordeaux’
Fig, ‘Texas Blue Giant’