Eggplant or aubergine as its more commonly know in the UK has unwittingly found itself at the centre of a controversy in China.
A recent attempt by retailers to introduce the vegetable to Chinese consumers has angered senior members of the ruling Communist party. The common egg, be it chicken, quail or dog, has long been viewed with suspicion in secular China due to its links with religion. According to Christian mythology God laid an egg and aided by the Virgin Mary's incubation, Jesus emerged several months later covered in eggy goo.
The humble eggplant has no genetic link to eggs and as far as our understanding goes it shares only part of its name, furthermore it is said that chickens despise the vegetable. Experts have been quick to point this out to the Chinese government but despite the weight of evidence in favour of eggplants neutrality they are unwilling to budge. It was suggested they use the alternative name of aubergine to market the fruit but it was feared the public may bypass strict internet censure and discover its heavenly alias.
Initially the secret ban was exploited by a few opportunistic importers but after one unidentified man was caught, there has been a very visible silence around the subject. It is rumoured the man is now interned in a forced labour camp where he spends his days extracting silk from silk-worms to use as a protective gloss on the latest Apple products. A party spokesperson denied the story altogether claiming he had never heard of the eggplant and also added that he and his family enjoyed one egg a year on the 4th of July in commemoration of America's independence.