Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae grown for its often purple edible fruit. Although eggplant is the common name in many countries, in British English, it is called aubergine, and in South Asia and South Africa, brinjal.The spongy, absorbent fruit of the plant is widely used in cooking in many different cuisines, and is often considered as a vegetable, even though it is a berry by botanical definition. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to the tomato and the potato. Like the tomato, its skin and seeds can be eaten, but, like the potato, it is not advisable to eat it raw. The capability of the fruit to absorb oils and flavors into its flesh through cooking is well known in the culinary arts.