Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a popular summer vegetable. When shopping at the market, or growing your own, here's what to look for to get the freshest eggplant possible.
Step 1: Look at the stem and cap Look at the eggplant's stem and cap. They should be bright green. If the stem and cap are faded or browning, the eggplant is old and overripe.
TIP: Smaller eggplants tend to be less bitter than larger ones.
Step 2: Examine the skin Look at the eggplant's skin. It should be deep and dark all the way around, and free of scars and discoloration.
Step 3: Feel the eggplant Hold the eggplant in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it with your fingertips. The skin should be slightly elastic and spring back when you release it. If indentations remain where your fingertips were, the eggplant isn't ripe yet.
Step 4: Look for bruises Look for soft spots or bruises on the skin of the eggplant. Scarring or bruising on the skin is indicative of damaged or decayed flesh underneath.
FACT: Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the eggplant to the United States.