Jiló

Solanum gilo
Jiló growing at UMass Research Station in ealy August (Photo by Maria Moreira)
Jiló growing at UMass Research Station in ealy August (Photo by Maria Moreira)

Introduction

Jiló (Solanum gilo) is in the Solanaceae family and resembles eggplant in growth habit. It turns orange-red when ripe. This plant is originally from Africa and was brought to Brazil with the slave trade. It is still grown in West Africa where in some countries it is known as "garden eggs".

There are two basic types of jiló found in Brazil. One is called comprido verde claro (translating to long, light green in English). The second type, called morro redondo (round in English), is mor bitter than comprido verde claro. The majority of Brazilians living in Massachusetts are from the state of Minas Gerias, where the comprido verde claro type is most popular.

Jiló harvested at the UMass Research Farm on July 28. This variety is called comprido verde claro
Jiló harvested at the UMass Research Farm on July 28. This variety is called morro redondo

Production

Grow jiló just as you would eggplant. The fruit is harvested immature, before turning orange or red. The Brazilian market will not except fruit that has turned red or orange. The fruit becomes more bitter as it matures.

For information on production and management of jilo, refer to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and click on "eggplant".

Seed Sources

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has a variety available called “Jilo Tingua Verde Claro” which is the most popular type of jiló among Brazilians in the United States.

Jiló at a market in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerias. A very large percentage of Brazilians living in Massachusetts are from Minas Gerais. Comprido verde claro is the type most popular in this state.

Nutritional Information

The UMass Nutrition Team has developed recipes in English, Spanish and Portuguese developed by the UMass Nutrition Program using jiló

Found in:

Nigeria
Garden egg