On searching for information about eggplants, we come across thousands of articles written for the same fruit but with different names (yes, eggplant is a fruit) that left us in quandary. People in the United States may call it eggplant, but as you visit different places you may find people calling it Brinjal, Aubergine, or Eggfruit.
For now, let’s call it eggplant. You may have cooked the fruit with different flavors and spices. But have you noticed that it gets darker when it is left open in the air? You may be thinking that it’s because of iron in it. But what if it isn’t? Let’s learn how to tell if an eggplant is bad to eat and how to cook it and make a healthier meal.
Does Eggplant go bad?
Certainly, none of us wants to have a rotten or stale eggplant for our lunch or dinner. But is it safe to eat pulpy or over-ripe eggplant? Once eggplant peak time has passed, then it tastes a little bitter and gets bitter over time. So, after storing it for a few days, it wouldn’t be a good idea to eat it.
To make sure that the eggplant lasagna, ratatouille, or any other eggplant-based recipe turns out to be delicious, it’s important to know how long eggplant can stay fresh and edible.
When to toss eggplant?
When the skin of eggplant gets withered or it gets prominently squishy and soft, or the dark spots start to appear anywhere on the body, then you must know that the decaying process has started. If the stem gets mold easily, then it’s time to discard it. Also, if you happen to see brown spots on the inner side of the eggplant, then you must not use it.
Remember that fruit and vegetables pass through a process called enzymatic browning that turns them brown after a few seconds when they are cut (for example, apples and bananas). Make sure that the eggplant is safe to eat. If it’s brown it may not seem appetizing, but you can cut the slices to check out the wholesomeness of eggplant and to make sure that it’s good to eat.
How to select the right eggplant?
If you opt to buy an eggplant, you should look for eggplants with shiny, vibrant skin with uniform color with a stiff stem that isn’t dried out.
You should hold the eggplant from the stem. It should be heavy and firm. Also, check the eggplant for spots, insect holes, cuts, or bruises.
As far as the taste is concerned, eggplants that are larger in size may have a bitter taste than the medium-sized ones, because of the greater number of seeds they have.
The Shelf Life of an Eggplant
There are different opinions when it comes to the shelf life of an eggplant. Some people tend to store it at room temperature, some people keep it in the fridge. However, eggplant is a tropical plant and is sensitive to cold. That’s why it is mainly found in summers, so keeping it at room temperature makes more sense.
At room temperature, an eggplant can survive up to two to three days. If it’s kept in the refrigerator, it will lose its taste after three days.
How to store Eggplants?
You don’t need to store eggplants in a sealed bag or a container. But if your kitchen gets warm easily, then put them into the cabinet to allow them to stay at room temperature for two to three days.
Also, don’t mix eggplants with melons and tomatoes as they release ethylene – while ripening accelerates the decaying process in eggplants.
To store eggplant, it’s better to blanche it and put it into the freezer. Otherwise, it loses its texture.
- Put a large pot of water on high flame and bring it to a boil
- Put a spoon of salt and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in water
- Also, place a bowl next to the stove having ice cubes and chilled water
- Make uniform slices of eggplant and before they start brown, put them into the boiling water
- Boil them until they get soft. It will take 5 to 8 minutes to soften
- Take them out and put them into cold water
- Re-ice the water until all your slices completely get blanched
To freeze these slices, let them rest, and put them into a sealed bag, and put them in a refrigerator. To enjoy the taste, use the blanched and frozen eggplants within a year.