Eggplant Factoids

With eggplants of all colors and stripes making their way from the farm to your local market, bone up on eggplants (fact and fiction) before you fill your basket.

  • Big isn’t better Choose small- to medium-size eggplants. They have fewer seeds, are milder in flavor and have a more tender skin. The outside should be free from bruises or cracks.
  • Seed stories There is no truth to the old wive's tale that says male eggplants and female eggplants are different and that male eggplants are better. Eggplants aren't sexed, and the amount of seeds in each varies.
  • Peel or not? If the eggplant is young and not too large, the skin should be thin and tender, so it should not need peeling. If the skin is tough, peel it before cooking.
  • Truth about salt Many recipes recommend salting and then draining eggplants to remove bitterness. While salting doesn’t actually take away any bitter taste, it does leave the eggplant softer. So if you want to easily blend the eggplant into a dish, salt it.
  • The sponge effect Eggplants act like a sponge when cooked in oil, making them soggy. To avoid this, quickly cook eggplant in lots of oil at 375º F. Or partially cook eggplant in the microwave, and then use less oil to sauté it. Try this technique in Chicken over Tomato-Eggplant Ragù.

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