Why does my aubergine taste bitter when I grill them?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Mamuje

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
9
Any useful information will be helpful.

I usually rub olive oil and salt in them before I grill or roast in the oven.
 

pacanis

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
18,750
Location
NW PA
I can't help you with grilling eggplant. I wouldn't even know how to choose one for purchase. I'll be watching this thread though, as it's something I have wanted to try.
 

Uncle Bob

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
17,551
Location
Small Town Mississippi
Look for the smaller firmer ones...The larger ones are older, more seeds, more bitter. Stay away from large soft, mushy ones......

Enjoy!
 

CraigC

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
6,483
Ever try salting them to draw out the bitter tasting liquid? Sprinkle salt over both sides of the slices, let stand for 1/2 hour, then rinse the salt off. Oh, you won't need to use any salt to season.

Craig
 

Zereh

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
1,501
Location
Bellevue, WA
What Bob said! =) This info is from What's Cooking America:

Purchasing Eggplant: Smaller, immature eggplants are best. Full-size puffy ones may have hard seeds and can be bitter. Choose a firm, smooth-skinned eggplant that is heavy for its size; avoid those with soft or brown spots. Gently push with your thumb or forefinger. If the flesh gives slightly but then bounces back, it is ripe. If the indentation remains, it is overripe and the insides will be mushy. If there is no give, the eggplant was picked too early. Also make sure an eggplant isn't dry inside, knock on it with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, don't buy it. NOTE: Whether or not there is an appreciable difference, I don't know.

Storing Eggplant: Eggplants are very perishable and become bitter with age. They should be stored in a cool, dry place and used within a day or two of purchase. To store in the refrigerator, place in a plastic bag. If you plan to cook it the same day you buy it, leave it out at room temperature.

Preparing Eggplant: When young, the skin of most eggplants are edible; older eggplants should be peeled. since the flesh discolors rapidly, an eggplant should be cut just before using.


There are many varieties which range from dark purple to pale mauve, and from yellow to white. The longer purple variety is the most commonly eaten. It is one of the more popular vegetables in the world, and it is a staple of Italian cooking throughout Italy. For hundreds of years, it was grown only in Sicily and southern Italy.
 

Zereh

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
1,501
Location
Bellevue, WA
Ever try salting them to draw out the bitter tasting liquid? Sprinkle salt over both sides of the slices, let stand for 1/2 hour, then rinse the salt off. Oh, you won't need to use any salt to season.

I am pretty sure I read that the salting does not actually remove the bitterness but only tricks (and delays) our ability to detect it. I could have sworn the article was done by someone I was likely to believe. I'll dig around for it and if I find it I'll post again.
 

CraigC

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
6,483
I am pretty sure I read that the salting does not actually remove the bitterness but only tricks (and delays) our ability to detect it. I could have sworn the article was done by someone I was likely to believe. I'll dig around for it and if I find it I'll post again.

I've used it and it seems to work. I put the slices in a collander over a bowl, lay a plate on top and weigh them down. The brown liquid that drains off is pretty nasty.

Has anyone ever had the Gretel variety? Very small, maybe 4 to 6 inches long with a max diameter of 1". The skin is pearl white. Never bitter. They grow like weeds.

Craig
 

Mamuje

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
9
Thanks for all your comments. Very helpful indeed. I will be cooking aubergines tomorrow so would salt them and place a heavy weight on them. Wish me luck :)
 

Uncle Bob

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
17,551
Location
Small Town Mississippi
Salting (sweating) will indeed draw out a lot of brown, nasty, and funky liquid which is a good indicator that you are dealing with old, over ripe, poorly handled etc, etc. eggplant...So what's the point? ~~ You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!
 

DaveSoMD

Master Chef
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
7,338
Location
Maryland
Check out Good Eats: Berry from Another Planet or Deep Purple videos
 

Mamuje

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
9
Rocklobster said:
Maybe your Aubergine has had a hard life, with some harsh conditions. That would make anyone bitter.

I like your sense of humor. But I doubt that's the cause of the bitterness though.
 

silentmeow

Senior Cook
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Messages
308
Location
Michigan, USA
Mamuje,
I stay away from the big purple ones, they are very bitter to me. I have found that the purple and white striped ones are less bitter as are the baby eggplants. Our markets always carry a variety. My favorite are the round Rosa Bianca's. They are the size of a softball and very mild. I can't find them in the markets anymore so I grow my own. Keep trying different types, you'll eventually find one to your liking. Good luck.
 

Mimizkitchen

Head Chef
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
1,607
Location
Florida
Salting doesn't remove bitterness, eggplant have a high moisture content so when you salt them it releases the liquid and they will hold their shape better when cooking them... If not they tend to get mushy IMO... I always salt mine before frying for eggplant parm, I find that the final product is much firmer than eggplant not salted... :):):)
 
Top Bottom