Holy eggplant! What do you do with a #blessed vegetable?


(Gino Marino)

Earlier this week, a line cook at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge, La., was prepping eggplant and getting ready for the evening shift. He was in the middle of a batch when he noticed something peculiar: God — right there — in the eggplant.

“You can probably slice a million eggplants, and never get that result,” Gino Marino, one of Gino’s owners, said Wednesday. “You probably have a better shot of winning the lottery.”

You see it there, pictured above? G-O-D! Spelled out! In all caps!

The line cook called over his co-workers, Marino said. Photos were snapped and posted to Facebook, as one does. Then, the media heard about it.

Media like local news station WAFB, which filed this report:

FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

“I know what I saw and what I experienced, and it happened within a two-minute time frame,” Marino told The Post when asked if anyone (eggnostics?) had suggested it was a hoax. “I’ve still got the eggplant.”

Being among the first to glimpse the Holy Eggplant? Amazing, Marino said. The response that followed? Tremendous. So now what? Uh … well … about that …

“I really don’t know how to age eggplant,” Marino said. “I don’t know the best way to keep an eggplant like that. But you can still see the configuration.”

Honestly, though, what do you do with a half-cooked slice of eggplant that literally contains the word of G-O-D? At present, it’s wrapped up in the restaurant’s freezer and turning a wee bit brownish. Up next? Who knows. It’ll probably get vacuum-sealed, Marino says. Does anyone have a better idea?

“I got no plans with it,” Marino said. “I don’t know what to do with it. I’m just gonna keep it, I guess.”

Might as well. It could be worth something someday. The eggplant joins a number of headline-making religious food items, some of which sold for big bucks. There was Potato Chip Jesus, Banana Peel Jesus, and who could forget Cheeto Jesus:

If you’re interested, there’s currently a Jesus hot chocolate mug for sale on eBay (Description: “The face of Christ appeared in the hot chocolate on the side of this mug”). Or for $40, a Jesus grilled-cheese press could be yours.

Or you could probably just visit Marino’s restaurant and ask him to open up the freezer. It might still be there! After all this, would you throw it away?

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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