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purple eggplants

How to Pick Eggplant

illustration of an eggplantThe dark-purple globe eggplant is the standard in most markets, but there’s a wide world of other varieties, including the miniature fairy-tale eggplant and white eggplant, which both tend to be sweeter and more tender than the globe. Keep an eye out for Italian eggplant: It looks quite similar to the globe, but its smaller size means it’s less likely to taste bitter.

Best the Bitterness

illustration puckered face emojiiIf a bitter-tasting eggplant experience has put you off, consider giving it another chance. The smaller varieties all tend to have thinner skins and fewer seeds, which often translates to sweeter flesh. Also know that bitterness comes with age, regardless of the variety, so try to buy fresh eggplant and use it as soon as possible.

Shop and Store

illustration of shopping cartLook for eggplants with shiny skins, green stems, and no blemishes. They should feel firm to the touch; avoid those with soft spots. Store at room temperature, away from foods that produce ethylene (which can hasten spoilage), like bananas, apples, and tomatoes. If you must refrigerate an eggplant, use it within a few days, because it’s susceptible to chilling injuries.

Experiment With Ease

illustration recipe card and whiskLooking for some eggplant inspiration? Cook up chef José Andrés’s Pasta With Eggplant and Chickpeas, or try eggplant in our Plant-Based Spinach Lasagna. Cooking for a crowd? Make our Ratatouille or check out our recipe for Baba Ghanoush.

This article originally appeared as “Eggplant” in the May 2022 issue of Experience Life.

Illustrations: Jennifer Jacobson
Kaelyn Riley

Kaelyn Riley is an Experience Life senior editor.

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