How to Pick An Eggplant in Harvest Time

You might have wondered what the best answer is if you have been asked for clues on how to pick an eggplant in harvest time. The common thread that runs through responses on this subject matter is an array of ideas about shape, size, type of seeds, the indents and whether it is male or female breed.

Having worked in culinary for more than a decade, I realize that those who don’t have the experience I do may have conflict in finding the right answer.


Are Eggplants Distinguished by Gender?

Many people might be oblivious to the fact that plants have gender recognition traits and for some plant species, they are hermaphrodites while others are identifiable as single sex. While a lot of these ideas might be founded on a proven body of knowledge, the distinction between male and female eggplants might be nonexistent and should be taken as some form of rural legends.


The basis for the inclination as to plant gender is based on the dash-like mark which can be taken as to the left of the discourse while the circular mark is to the right. As evident as the markings are, they are not going to be of help if you fail to follow the other distinctions on this outline.

Some Reasonable Ideas

  • My take on getting into eggplant gardening is that you should be determined enough to drive a few miles to locate a garden around you so you can see how the landscape looks like and be abreast of what it takes to grow this delicious vegetable.
  • There is no doubt that you can do some backyard gardening if you have space for it. With a little patience and realism, your garden can be ready in a few weeks. Beyond the edible aspect, gardening with eggplants makes your home look much like a work of art because of the color array of the glossy and sensually surreal appearance.

The Harvest Time Tips

When harvest season comes for the eggplant, the best bet is to make sure they are ripe before picking. The fruits become more bitter as they age.

  • Eggplants should be between 6 and 8 inches in length
  • The taut skin, sheen and classic look are unmistakable
  • It has to be heavy in proportion to its size when you lift
  • The skin has to spring back at you when you press
  • Any sign of wrinkling and blemish should make you ditch an eggplant
  • Use gloves when picking as they can be prickly
  • Harvest with the calyx attached to the fruit
  • Do not break the stems rather use a pruning knife

Basic Facts







Stripping the Bitterness

  • When eggplants are brought home from the garden or the stores, it is advisable not to have them refrigerated, as this will eliminate their freshness and spur the bitter taste. You could also be left with a soft skin that will make them soggy.
  • It’s important that you use the store-bought eggplant within 72 hours of purchasing.If you plan on waiting three days to use, you’ll want to leave them in a cool spot for best preservation.
  • Eggplants can also be wrapped in plastic bags or some form of paper towel after dampening to keep them a bit moistened. If the weather becomes too hot, use them within 24 hours after putting them in the fridge.


Cooking Tips

  • You will be able to reduce your oil use when you drain and salt the eggplant before sautéing.
  • When cooking, you will extinguish more moisture when you press down the salted eggplant.
  • Keep the color of your eggplant by using stainless steel for cutting as carbon steel will end up discoloring them.


The eggplant is a delicious add-on to meals that many people love and how to pick an eggplant will make or break the delicacy that you’re creating. If the eggplant is not ripe enough or too young, your dish may taste more bitter than you wish. While the facts above on choosing an eggplant may be overwhelming to the new culinary artist, we hope that you find them resourceful.

If you have learned any vital tips about picking the eggplant on this page, I encourage you to share this article on your social media networks, so that your loved ones and friends can benefit. If you have suggestions and questions, don’t hesitate to use the comment section on this page, as we’d be glad to hear from you.

Kristin Ryals

My name is Kristin, and I'm a housewife with big love for cooking. When I'm not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America's Next Top Chef, I'm browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Outside of the world of cooking (as if there is one!), I enjoy reading, skydiving, live music, and of course, shopping!

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