Aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a specific species of nightshade and is widely produced for its tasty fruit. In North America and Australia the fruit is called eggplant and in South Africa and Southeast Asia it is known as brinjal.
The aubergine is a member of the genus Solanum and is thus related to the tomato and potato. Botanically speaking however, the aubergine is classified as a berry. The fruit contains many small and soft seeds. These seeds taste rather bitter, because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids, just like tobacco.