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Old 04-08-2006, 08:55 AM   #21
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yup, it was an old or improperly harvested eggplant.

even if it was picked and you bought it only days later, if it was allowed to ripen too much on the plant, it will turn bitter, and there's nothing you can really do to get rid of that bitterness.

i've noticed this in my own garden. even tho i may have just picked and eggplant, sliced, s&p'd, and oiled it to cook on the grill, i always taste a little raw piece.
sometimes they've gone too long and are bitter, so they get fed to the birds.

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Old 04-08-2006, 10:50 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jennyema
No such thing as truly female and male eggplant.

The one with the oval dimple on the bootom supposedly has less seeds than the one with a round dimple.

Select one that feels heavy for its size, with a glossy skin.
I choose one that is light in weight, as they have less seeds, and use the salt method mentioned.

Look for an eggplant that is not too large that is lighter in weight - it will have fewer seeds that can cause bitterness. The flesh should spring back when pressed. All eggplant should be shiny and firm (but not rock hard) with a taut skin that is free of blemishes (such as wormholes or dark brown spots) or bruises. Heavy scarring is an indication of poor handling, but small scarring may just signal wind damage. A dull skin and rust-colored spots are a sign of age.

The best eggplants are firm and shiny eggplants with unbroken skin. Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds, and are therefore less bitter than female eggplants. To sex an eggplant, look at the indentation at bottom. If it's deep and shaped like a dash, it's a female. If it's shallow and round, it's a male. Smaller eggplants also tend to be less bitter. Freshness is important, so don't store them for very long.

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Old 04-08-2006, 12:19 PM   #23
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Duly noted, I will be more careful when buying the next one and salt it longer.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #24
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Another thing I've found is that the long slender Oriental-type eggplants - which are neither fancy nor imported these days - are far far less likely to be bitter or require any "treatment".

To be honest, in over 30 years of growing, buying, & cooking eggplant of all different types, I've never used or felt the need to use the "salting technique". It doesn't make any sense, & certainly won't save an eggplant past it's prime. "Might" mask poor taste, but if it's that bad, why bother at all.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:10 PM   #25
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I totally agree with the several posts that the "Asian" variety of eggplants (long and skinny) are the BEST of all--tender and definitely not bitter. But if you're stuck in an area where all you can get are the large, heavy, bulky ones and you can't convince your produce man to order the nice Asian ones or less bulky blokes then you might be better off using the salting technique to be on the safe side. Sometimes you just don't have a choice in what produce you can have depending on where you live.

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