How Does Cooking an Eggplant Affect Its Flavor?

Learning About Eggplant

Eggplants are a very old vegetable. Actually, they are technically a fruit because they hold their seeds on the inside. The original people to use eggplants in their cooking lived near the Mediterranean Sea. India is the original country to have eggplant, but many other countries adopted the use of the plant. Eating eggplant is very good for your health. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can cut down on health issues such as cancer risk and obesity. It is important to eat eggplants quickly, since they become bitter if they sit out for too long. There are many delicious dishes that can be made with eggplants, one of the favorites being eggplant lasagna. Eggplant is also very good wrapped inside pita bread.

Raw Eggplant

A raw eggplant looks roughly like a large, purple, lopsided cucumber. It has a firm and spongy texture and goes great in many dishes. A raw eggplant has a bland flavor, reminiscent of mushrooms. The springy texture almost gives the impression that you are eating Styrofoam or some other man-made material. An eggplant is not a very good thing to eat all on its own.

Eggplants and Their Absorbency

Due to the spongy texture of an eggplant, when cooked they absorb the flavors of whatever they are being cooked with. This greatly enhances the flavor of the eggplant and makes it quite edible and delicious. It is also important to cook an eggplant quickly, since keeping it stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time allows it to absorb the flavors floating around in the fridge. This gives it a weird, refrigerator taste, which is never good.

Cooked Eggplant

When an eggplant is cooked, the flesh softens and becomes pliable. When cooking an eggplant, it is best to remove the skin since it becomes tough and chewy. However, the cooked soft inside is quite delicious, especially when mixed with other delicious ingredients. A lot of vegetarians use eggplant in their dishes in place of meat due to its filling nature and large amounts of health benefits.

Eggplant and Liquids

When eggplant is cooked with oils and other liquids, such as lemon juice or wine, it absorbs the flavor of those materials into its flesh. This gives the otherwise bland vegetable a much better taste. When cooked in the liquids for long periods of time, the eggplant begins to break down into a kind of mash in a similar way that squash does. This is great for adding filling to dishes or for feeding infants.

Eggplant and Spices

When eggplants are cooked with salt and other spices, they also absorb the taste of these materials. This is a great advantage when cooking, because all the flavors easily blend together that way. The eggplant also adds a wonderful texture and base flavor to any spiced dishes.

About this Author

Ezmeralda Lee is a published writer living in Upstate New York. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has experience with subjects such as business, management, computer programming, technology, horses and real estate, She has expertise in computers, home and garden, law and literature. Lee holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University.