how to buy eggplant

Whatever method you choose, just be sure to stab the eggplant with a fork a couple times before you cook it so the steam escapes without that purple fucker falling apart on you.
If you don’t mind your dips a little chunky, you could skip the food processor and just mash all of this shit around in a bowl with a fork; just chop the garlic smaller.
Not sure what the hell to do with an eggplant? Grab that Grimace-looking son of a bitch and roast the shit out of it so you can whip together this dope dip.

White eggplants are also smaller and more firmly textured than the common purple eggplant.
Despite the ages old, old-wives tale that there are male and female eggplants and the male of the species is better eating –detected because it has an “outie” blossom end as opposed to the female “innie” blossom end – there is no such thing.
Did you know that at one time, women in the Orient used a black dye made form eggplant to stain their teeth a gun metal gray? The dye probably came from the same dark purple eggplant we see in the marketplace today.
The skin of a white eggplant is tougher than purple eggplant and must be peeled.
So an eggplant picked when very mature to over-mature might appear "seedier" than others picked when less mature, even those from the same plant.
Pick eggplant fruits when full size is reached but while the exterior is still a glossy purple.
Different varieties of eggplant may be more bitter and contain more noticeable seeds than others.
Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds, and are therefore less bitter than female eggplants.
"Vegetables," such as eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, are – botanically speaking – really fruits.
• Broccoli: Choose broccoli with firm stalks, tight florets, and crisp green leaves.
• Scallions: Choose scallions with crisp, green tops and firm, white bulbs.
• Fennel: Choose fennel with white, firm, unblemished bulbs as well as firm stems and fresh leaves.
• Cabbages: Choose firm, compact heads that feel heavy for their size.
• Radishes: Choose radishes with fresh, green tops and firm, unblemished roots.
• Peppers: Choose firm, naturally shiny peppers that feel heavy for their size.
• Celery Root: Choose firm, hard roots that feel heavy for their size.
• Onions and Shallots: Choose dry, firm bulbs that feel heavy for their size.
• Brussels Sprouts: Choose firm, compact, bright green heads.
• Turnips: Choose turnips that feel firm and heavy for their size.
• Rutabagas: Choose rutabagas that feel firm and heavy for their size.
• Eggplants: Choose eggplants that have smooth, naturally shiny skin and feel heavy for their size.
• Artichokes: Choose globes that have tight leaves and feel heavy for their size.
• Asparagus: Choose firm, smooth, and brightly-colored stalks with compact tips.
• Swiss Chard: Choose chard with crisp stalks and shiny, bright, unwilted leaves.
• Tomatoes: Choose tomatoes that are fragrant, smell earthy at the stem end, and feel heavy for their size.
• Winter Squash: Choose squash that have stems intact and feel heavy for their size.
• Beets: Choose firm beets with fresh stems and slender taproots.
• Sweet Potatoes and Yams: Choose potatoes with firm, unwrinkled skins and no bruises or cuts, as they are highly perishable.
• Celery: Choose firm, unblemished stalks.
• Carrots: Choose firm, smooth carrots without rootlets.
• Lettuce, Spinach, and Other Leafy Greens: Choose greens with fresh, crisp leaves.
• Rhubarb: Choose firm pink or red stalks.
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Choose smaller eggplants as they tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin and less seeds.
eggplants with smooth, shiny skin that are uniform in color and heavy for their size.
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Now, if you have a market that stocks a variety of eggplant types, I find that the Chinese eggplants (long, and more lavender than dark purple) make a very good Parmigiana or lasagna, you can cut them at an angle to make the pieces larger…also, the Chinese eggplants rarely have tough skin, so you don’t have to worry about peeling or ending up with a dish full of chewy strips of purple.
As for a recipe, I don’t think I’ve posted one, but my favorite is a seat o’the pants version where I simply slice the eggplant, coat in flour, then in whipped egg mixture, then in a plate of Panko bread crumbs (the ones used for tempuras in Japanese restaurants) that are now available in most grocery stores and pan fried.
“Vegetables,” such as eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, are – botanically speaking – really fruits.
Do you know how to choose the best eggplant? Over the years as much as I’ve enjoyed eggplant, I have to admit sometimes the ones I bought and cooked tasted bitter.
The round ones seem to have more seeds and tend to be less meaty, so select the oval dimpled eggplant.
So an eggplant picked when very mature to over-mature might appear “seedier” than others picked when less mature, even those from the same plant.
(Blot as much oil out as possible.) I put a couple of tablespoons of either homemade or canned tomato sauce on the bottom of a large baking pan, place a layer of crumbed eggplant slices, a healthy dousing of sauce, then some shredded mozzarella & parmagiana cheese, another layer of eggplant, etc., until everything is used up, and topped last by a nice bit of the cheeses, and bake at around 375 for as long as it takes for a nicely brown top and sauce bubbles.
So in the case of eggplant (and other fruits and veggies), more seeds are more likely to result in more babies to propagate the species.
I was just looking on the food network for a great recipe and while reading some of the reviews I came across male or female eggplant, WHAT! Thus that began my search; is this true male and female eggplant.
I tried different ways to take the bitter out, like salting down the slices very heavily and leaving them to sweat on towels for awhile, then washing the salt off, patting the slices dry like my Italian boss told me to do years ago, but the intermittent bitter eggplant was always a problem.
Also, as an eggplant fruit matures, the seeds become more noticeable.
That’s enough eggplant for a recipe that makes about 4 large servings (use a 9″ square pan, place the largest 5 rounds first on the corners and middle, then use two smaller rounds cut in half to fill in the gaps along the sides; do two layers).
The fruits themselves can’t be considered “male or female.” Male pollen was transferred to female parts of the flower, resulting in the fruit we eat.
And today it was the sex life of eggplants……lol I didn’t know any of this, by the way and I’ll think about it next time I’m eating some eggplant parm.
I’ll be sure to make my own comparison next time I cook eggplant though.
Once the exterior becomes dull purple, the eggplant fruit is over-mature.
If you want to be 100 percent sure you’ve got an unbitter eggplant before committing an entire one to your favorite eggplant Parmesan, precook a small piece in a skillet or microwave and taste for bitterness.
One of my favorite theories about bitter eggplants — even if it’s not true — is that a "female" eggplant has a lot of seeds and should be avoided.
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There’s no such thing as a "female" eggplant; the ones with wrinkled, flabby skin are usually bitter.
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It is especially used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Eastern cooking, where the strong flavor and texture of eggplant is nicely meshed with strong spices and plenty of olive oil.
Degorging is the process of salting and draining the eggplant, which is needed in older and bigger fruits due to their bitterness and also reduces the amount of oil absorbed by the eggplant flesh.
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I like using the eggplant skin on my recipes but sometimes you want to take that out if you are going to puree it and do not want the extra stringy fiber in there.
Eggplants come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes but regardless of the kind of eggplant you are going to be working with, here is how you choose a good one.
Crystals of salt (no matter what the size) dissolve in the moisture on the surface of the eggplant and form a concentrated salt solution.
Some of the bitterness of older eggplant can be removed by slicing them and then liberally sprinkling the cut edges with salt.
The straight thin eggplants known as Japanese or Asian eggplant have thin delicate skins like Italian eggplant but the flesh is sweeter.
The main reason to use salt on eggplant is because they have a very high moisture content.
By sprinkling salt on the eggplant, water is drawn to the surface.
While it is known as eggplant in much of the western world in the U.K. this lovely ingredient is called by the much sexier aubergine (sounds like a heroine in a racy romance novel).
There are as many variations on the reasons for using salt on eggplant as there are celebrity chefs.
The smaller version of the larger purple skinned eggplant is often called Italian or baby eggplant.
The more salt you use or the longer it is on the eggplant, the more effective this technique will be.
The large dark purple pear shaped eggplant is the most common.
I the hefty feel of a large fresh eggplant, but the larger they are the less flavorful they will be and the tougher the skin.
A recent French meta-analysis of the results of several prospective studies has specifically examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) (J Nutr 2006;136:2588-2593).
White skinned eggplant is now widely available and it is this variety that gave eggplant its common name.
Rinsing and patting dry the eggplant won’t result in it absorbing a significant amount of water (it is porous but not a sponge).
Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family as are tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Thankfully, those nasty rumors about this delicious fruit have been thwarted, and we’ve been grilling, roasting, stewing, and sauteeing this tasty fruit (yes, fruit!) ever since.
The Canal House Cooks even wrote an ode to the eggplant in our July issue, revering its creamy texture when slow-roasted directly on coals.
Although we usually see deep-purple eggplants at the market, the fruit takes its name from the white, egg-shaped variety.

Add the reserved sausage, reserved eggplant, raisins, ginger, capers, tomatoes, orange juice, curry powder, pepper flakes, honey, and 1/4 cup water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, stirring well after each addition.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, adding a bit more water as needed, until the eggplant is soft and the mixture is chunky and has the consistency of a sauce, about 30 minutes.


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