Eggplant is a mysterious vegetable. It is not something that you purchase at the grocery store often.
While grilled eggplant is delicious, what else can you do with eggplant? So when you purchase eggplant in bulk and forget about you need to know if your eggplant is bad.
What Does Ripe Eggplant Look Like
Ripe eggplant is like a diamond in the rough: beautiful.
Even though it is technically a fruit, ripe eggplants are one of the most beautiful vegetables you will find in the produce section.
Fresh ripe eggplants have a shiny rich purple color and an oval-like shape. The eggplant should be firm and taut, not soft or shriveled.
When cut, the eggplant flesh should be primarily white with a tinge of green.
The eggplant seeds should be visible, with dark flecks of seeds running throughout the fruit.
How to Shop for Eggplants
How often have you bought an eggplant you thought was good and realized it was spoiled when you cut it open to cook it? This is why you need to know how to shop for eggplants.
When shopping for eggplants, use your senses. Inspect each eggplant on the produce stand.
Search for an eggplant that has a dark but vivid purple eggplant with shiny, taut, and wrinkle-free skin.
If the eggplant is visibly brown or yellow or has wrinkled dull skin, do not purchase it as the eggplant is old. Touch the eggplant with your fingers.
The eggplant should be firm, not spongy. If there is resistance, the eggplant is not good.
How To Store Eggplant
Like potatoes, eggplants should be stored at room temperature or in a cool, dry place such as your pantry.
Place your eggplant into a dry paper bag, in a basket, or plate before storing it.
Do not seal your eggplant using a vacuum sealer or place them into a plastic bag or airtight container that will be closed.
Eggplants need their own section in the pantry or on the countertop. Storing eggplants near fruits such as bananas.
Some fruits and vegetables like bananas release ethylene gas that causes the eggplant to ripen and spoil within a few hours.
You can freeze your eggplant for up to 1 year for long-term storage. Then, after washing the eggplant, you can leave your eggplant whole or sliced.
Next, blanch the eggplant in boiling water, dry it, and place it into a vacuum-sealed bag.
Alternatively, you can put the eggplant into a vacuum sealer; you can place the eggplant into a freezer-safe resealable bag.
However, you must press all of the air out of the eggplant before sealing it and freezing it.
If you do not want to store eggplant at room temperature or in the freezer, you can pickle, dehydrate, or cook the eggplant before storing it.
How Long Do Eggplants Last
Eggplants will spoil. However, if they are kept out of direct sunlight, they will last for 3-5 days.
Nevertheless, fresh eggplant is always best, so you’ll want to cook them as soon as you get them.
How Long Does Eggplant Last in the Fridge
Eggplants do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. However, some people do not believe in leaving foods like eggplants.
The best place to store your eggplants is in your refrigerator’s crisper compartment.
Do not cut the eggplant into smaller pieces before storing it in the fridge. The same enzymatic reaction to apples, potatoes, and avocados will cause the eggplant to turn brown after being cut.
If you want to cut the eggplant into smaller pieces, dip them in lemon juice or olive oil to prevent the eggplant from turning brown.
Nevertheless, it is best to leave the eggplant whole and cut it up when you are ready to cook it to prevent it from deteriorating rapidly.
Place the eggplant onto a plate or into a bag with a few holes in it.
Do not place the eggplant into a sealed plastic bag. Moisture will collect in the bag and cause the eggplant to spoil.
Eggplant will last up to a week when stored in the fridge properly.
How To Tell if Eggplant Is Bad
Consuming rotten eggplant is never a pleasant experience.
You will end up with food poisoning and may have symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pains.
This is why it is essential to know if your eggplant is rotten.
You can tell if an eggplant is bad just by looking at it. It is not good if the eggplant has wrinkly or crackly shriveled skin or black spots.
The eggplant is spoiled if the skin is dull and has lost its shine. In addition to this, if the eggplant’s flesh is brown when cut, it is rotten and should be discarded immediately.
Touching the eggplant can also tell you if it is rotten. Fresh eggplant is firm but not rubbery. Simply press the stem of the eggplant.
If the stem is soft, the eggplant is spoiled.
Furthermore, if the eggplant has a slimy texture when cut, toss it. If the flesh feels mushy and spongy, this is another indicator it has spoiled.
Inhaling the eggplant’s aroma can also let you know if it is still good. In a perfect world, eggplants should not have an identifiable smell.
Something is wrong with the eggplant if your nose picks up an abnormal odor.
It is either old or spoiled if your eggplant has a pungent or weird smell and should be tossed in the trash.
I know what you’re thinking; it’s just a mild odor. This eggplant must be old, not spoiled, so I can still cook it.
While an old eggplant won’t necessarily make you sick, I recommend throwing it out.
No one enjoys eating old food, so they will not appreciate you serving them old eggplant.
Just like knowing if pork chops are bad is important, it is crucial to tell if eggplant is bad. One spoiled eggplant can turn you off from consuming eggplant again.
Luckily you can enjoy as much or as little eggplant as you want since you know how to tell if eggplant is bad.
You might also be interested in:
- How To Tell If Turkey Is Bad
- How To Tell If Shrimp Is Bad
- How To Tell If Salmon Is Bad
- How To Tell If Lobster Is Bad
- How To Tell If Fish Is Bad
- How To Tell If Corn On The Cob Is Bad
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.