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How to Tell When an Eggplant Is Ripe

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How to Tell When an Eggplant Is Ripe

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Overview

Rich in fiber, potassium and antioxidants, eggplant is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Asian recipes. Contrary to common belief, the eggplant is not a vegetable but a fruit in the berry category. The high season for eggplant in the United States is during the late summer and early autumn months, from August to October.

Step 1

Choose an eggplant that is uniform in color and free from imperfections on the outer skin. Pick it up to see if it feels firm and has the same weight as an average baking potato.

Step 2

Inspect the eggplant's leaves. The leaves should be full and green and show no signs of dryness or brown discoloration. Eggplants that are too ripe decay quickly.

Step 3

Press your thumb or forefingers against the skin of the eggplant firmly but gently. If you leave an impression on the skin, it is too ripe and should be discarded. If you feel a slight resistance of the skin against your finger, the eggplant is ripe. Repeat along the top, body and bottom.

Tips and Warnings

  • People who have kidney or gallbladder problems are advised to not eat eggplants. Check with your healthcare provider. Eggplant leaves are poisonous, so don't eat them.

References

  • Epicurious: Eggplant
  • The World's Healthiest Foods: Eggplant
  • Allrecipes.com: Eggplant Recipes
Keywords: eggplant, ripe, fruits and vegetables, cooking, freshness testing, aubergine

About this Author

Based in Chicago, Kay Piem has been writer and producer since 1998. She has contributed to national publications including "Fast Company" and "Teen People." Piem has also contributed to educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Biography Channel. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration on visuals arts and the Italian Renaissance from the University of Michigan.

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