Eggplant is the spongy fruit of a plant belonging to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. Deep purple in colour, this fruit (while usually being considered a vegetable) is closely related to potatoes and tomatoes. While you can eat the eggplant’s skin and seeds, eating it raw is not advisable. This fruit can absorb flavours and oils outstandingly, making it an excellent ingredient to add to many dishes.
When selecting eggplants, we choose the ones that are firm and medium-sized to guarantee less bitter taste and fewer seeds. We don’t mind if they are knobbly shapes or have skin-marks, as we consider this to be natural variation in a natural product.
Eggplants are an excellent source of fibre, and they also contain vitamins and minerals like folate, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, thiamin, niacin, copper, pantothenic acid, as well as vitamins K, B6, and vitamin C.
Eggplants can be stored without refrigeration for only 1 to 2 days. If you plan to store it longer, make sure to place it in the refrigerator. Before storing, wrap the eggplants in paper towel and place in a sealed container, then place in the refrigerator’s crisper shelf. Refrigerated eggplants may last for 5 -7 days. Blanched or steamed eggplants can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Avoid storing eggplants near fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas, such as apple, mango, avocado, and potato.
The eggplant has similar growing requirements as tomatoes and capsicums. They are sensitive to frost, and only thrive under warm to hot climates, hence, they are more likely to grow during the summer in northern Victoria region. In Australia, eggplant is available year-round. At some stages of the year, it is likely that the eggplants you buy are grown in hothouses (particularly in colder months, or in-between seasons). We find that hothouse eggplants don’t keep quite as long refrigerated as field eggplants.