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an exclusive product by La Perla del Sud

Melanzana Perlina


Its story begins in the summer of 1995, in a local market close to the Arena of Verona, where Giombattista noticed some purple round mini-eggplants, which caught his attention leading him to ask information about the origin. He found out they were coming from the mountains around Verona.

Immediately he recalled when, less than 10 years before, he began growing the first mini-tomato, the “cherry”, which was successful straight away as it was more resistance and tasty, compared to the classical tomato. The mini-eggplant, he thought, seemed to have the same potential.

Upon returning to Sicily, he spoke to Dr Guglielmo Donzella (who was at that time an employee of the technical Assistance local Office of the Ente di Sviluppo Agricolo per la Sicilia) who put him in touch with Dr Giuseppe Rotino and Dr Nazareno Acciarri, both researchers in Montanaso Lombardo and Monsampolo del Tronto for the Experimental Institute of Horticulture in Pontecagnano of the Ministry of Agriculture. Within the Institute, various populations and varieties of the main horticultural species are stored to be used for genetic improvement.

The two researchers suggested to carry out an on-site screening of some typologies, resulting from a recent genetic improvement. The hybrids under test were observed for 5 years, with the aim of defining their agronomic-productive characteristics. At the final screening, on over 30 types of eggplants, all of which fruit of conventional crossings, one selection immediately stood out for color, taste and skin-pulp ratio. Very important the last one as, in proportion, this mini-eggplant has much more skin compared to a traditional one, which means that it contains more antioxidant. 

This selection, F1 hybrid, with the baby-eggplant features, after being registered at the Ministerial Registry, became known as “Perlina®”.

“Perlina®” was officially introduced to consumers in 2000 through local conferences and articles on specialized magazines.

Overcome the first difficulties, “Perlina®” has been awarded many times during exhibitions and conferences, receiving special appreciation from the finest restaurants, where it still remains a sought after niche product. It first appeared in Michelin starred kitchens in 2004. The first chef to give it a try it was Pino Cuttaia, Patron of the famous “La Madia” restaurant in Licata, who immediately loved it and turned it into a wonderful dish, which is now a cult of his cuisine “il cannolo di melanzana Perlina”. From that moment, it’s easy to find Perlina in the finest restaurants and best hotels in Italy.   


It retains less water compared to traditional eggplants, so it does not need to be soaked in salt and water. In addition, it does not need peeling, it’s sweet and ready in 10 minutes.


If you wish to find out how to cook Perlina eggplant, take a look at our recipe page by clicking here.

Melanzane Perline


  • Perlina is absolutely NOT a Genetically Modified Organism, as many erroneously believe, but it is the result of a conventional crossing between two pure lines;                                                                                      

  • The original fruits hardly exceed 12 cm of lenght; the commercial packages are always distinguished by the sticker on every single one.        

  • Perlina eggplant is unique: beware if imitations!

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