Eggplant is a specific vegetable. On the one hand, it produces delicious and unusual dishes, like products that look like mushrooms. On the other hand, if this vegetable is processed incorrectly, it is possible to spoil the whole dish, as some aubergines have a bitter taste and so much so that they become unfit for human consumption.
To avoid this, it is necessary to choose the right eggplant. And it is important to decide in advance what they are for – cooking, frying or canning.
It is best to eat young fruits. The fact is that eggplants contain solanine, which in concentrated form is a strong poison. By the way, for the same reason eggplants are not eaten raw. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon them altogether.
There is practically no solanine in young aubergines. It accumulates with the growth of this vegetable when the seeds begin to ripen in it. Therefore, adult fruits are better not to use in food.
But what if autumn is the most fertile season for collecting aubergines, and they are already adults?
How to choose the right eggplant
They must be healthy, with smooth skin, without spots and obvious defects. Curled, soft food is best not to use.
Eggplant should not be large. The big ones are often overripe and therefore bitter because of the solanine.
Adult eggplant has a hard skin that does not become soft even after cooking. In such cases, hard seeds that spoil the whole dish.
How to clean eggplants
For different dishes with eggplant has its own rules for cleaning this vegetable.
But in any case, the aubergines are first washed, then each fruit is cut with a tail with a sepals and the very top on the opposite side.
If they are intended for caviar cooking or stewing, then they are cut from the skin. This is done with a peeler or a sharp knife, removing the skin along the vegetables.
The skin of young aubergines cannot be cut off because it is still soft and not bitter.
Do not remove the skin from eggplants, even if they are needed for roasting in the form of boats or cups, as the skin helps to maintain shape.
If the dish requires roasted eggplant pulp, the skin also cannot be removed. To do this, the aubergines are cut in half, baked and then the pulp is removed from them with a teaspoon.
But all this applies to aubergines that are not bitter, that is, to those that do not contain solanine. After all, if (there is solanine in the fruit, they must first be prepared before being used as food.
How to determine the presence of solanine in eggplant
To determine if there is solanine in the eggplant and whether it will taste bitter, it is enough to cut a small part of it and wait a few minutes.
Eggplants, which have accumulated a high concentration of solanine, quickly darken in the air, turning almost brown when cut. Young aubergines without this dangerous substance remain light in color unless they can turn slightly yellow. There are also varieties that are almost devoid of this substance. Such aubergines also do not darken when cut.