From its ancient Chinese cultivation in the fifth century B.C. to contemporary times, the eggplant has upscale dinner tables. Ancient eggplant varieties had a far more bitter taste than they do now, leading Europeans to feel that their consumption can lead to cancer, leprosy and madness. A lot of the fruit’s bitterness has been tamed by selective breeding during the ages, although it might raise its ugly head and destroy your meal when the eggplant is a vintage one. Eggplant has a relatively short shelf life so choose one as fresh as possible.
Shop for the smallest eggplants it is possible to find. The younger the fruit is in harvest, the more sweeter and more tender the flesh will soon be. Eggplant flesh turns bitter as the fruit matures. Compare eggplants of the exact same size for weight reduction. Pick one that feels heavy for the size. Avoid eggplants that sense lightweight as they might be beyond their prime.
Look for a smooth, shiny eggplant. Dull skin indicates that the fruit is beyond good eating as it is turning bitter. Eggplant varieties usually retailed in the United States possess a deep, rich purple-black color, that should be even with no streaking.
Turn the eggplant to look at all surfaces. Pass on fruits that have blemishes, wrinkles, scrapes, shriveling, uneven color or streaking. These characteristics demonstrate that the eggplant has ongoing damage. The flesh beneath imperfections is probably decaying.
Press your finger or thumb into the skin of the eggplant gently but securely. The flesh should give a bit to the stress and generate a minor indent but spring back immediately when pressure is released. If a depression remains, the eggplant is older.
Inspect the stem and cap, or calyx. These structures should be vibrant bright-green and appear fresh, not dry or brown.
Place the eggplant in a plastic bag and refrigerate it immediately. It should remain viable for up to five days.