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What Does Eggplant Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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If you like vegetarian cuisine, you might have heard about eggplants. Eggplant is an amazing vegetable enjoyed by meat-lovers as well as vegetarians. It is not only limited to Africa, the Mediterranean, Latin, and Central America but is also famous in Caribbean countries, Europe and Asia. 

eggplant in a basket

This healthy and extra-friendly vegetable has unlimited possibilities with an amazing flavor profile that lends itself to just about any preparation. But if you haven’t got the chance to indulge in this exotic veggie, you must be wondering what eggplant tastes like?

Eggplant is tender, mild, and sweet with a slight vegetal bitterness. It absorbs the flavor of the other ingredients in recipes when cooked. The texture of the eggplant is firm and a little spongy. Once they are fried, smoked, or braised, it gives you a melting and tender taste.

So, now that you are a bit more familiar with eggplant, I’m sure you’re craving to know more. In today’s article, I will discuss what an eggplant is, its taste, several varieties, etc. So let’s get right into it!

What Is Eggplant?

Eggplants

In the nightshade family, eggplant is a member of the same family as okra, tomatoes, and zucchini. It is available in many shapes, sizes, and colors and is available during the summer. Their sizes range from small globes to more tubular varieties. Moreover, they are also easy to cook because their seeds are edible.

Talking about its leaves, they are large and broad, and the underside of the leaf is covered with hairs. The plant’s flowers are white to purple, and the stamens are yellow. Some other common globes are egg-shaped, glossy, and dark purple with white flesh. 

Explore The Taste Of Other Foods We’ve Covered

What Does Eggplant Taste Like?

eggplant slices on the platter

Before I tell you about eggplant, a fact you should know is that it is not a vegetable but a fruit. Moreover, even the name eggplant may also sound strange to you. You may think it has an egg-like flavor, but the truth is it is completely different from its name.

Eggplant tastes like zucchini with a mild and sweet taste and vegetal bitterness. In short, eggplant tastes bland, bitter, and mild. Its flavor is enhanced when added to bold-flavored dishes. It absorbs flavors when cooked with oils and tastes super awesome. 

People only know about glossy, purple, teardrop-shaped eggplants, but there are other types of eggplant too. In local markets, you can find long, slender, melon-shaped eggplants with white, green, pink, or orange skin. The eggplant has white pulp, with maybe a little green or yellow. Eggplant has a lot of fleshy pulp inside and has a creamy consistency when cooked.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Potato?

If you are a potato lover or love the famous dishes of potatoes, then this question will definitely develop your interest. Let me give you the good news. Yes, this bitter vegetable will remind you of the taste of potatoes.

Eggplant has little silky firm skin outside, but when you cook them for a long time, the skin becomes more tender. So, the soft and cooked eggplant will taste exactly like mashed potatoes.

If you want to give your dish a creamy texture and soft notes, then eggplants are here to help you. Yes, eggplant can become the perfect replacement for those dishes in which you are planning to use mashed potatoes.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Zucchini?

Both eggplant and zucchini are known for their mild and slightly bitter flavor. Eggplant tends to absorb more flavors when cooked. They are similar in a few ways but not the same as eggplants. 

They look different and have different tastes and textures. Eggplants are healthy and nutritious vegetables, whereas zucchinis is a delicious squash. Zucchini is used in various ways, like it is eaten raw, sliced, shredded, or lightly cooked in salads

Eggplants are used in various recipes such as salads, soups, and curries. The eggplant absorbs oils and flavors well. It can be steamed, roasted, fried, pickled, barbecued, or stewed. Moreover, you can use it as a meat substitute in vegan cuisines.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Meat?

If you are a vegetarian, there is no need to worry that eggplants are the perfect replacement for meat. Eggplant has a rich and meaty taste and is very versatile to cook. You can cook eggplants in many ways like grilling, stir-frying, roasting, and baking, just like you cook your meat. 

Eggplants are less expensive than meat. While sometimes they taste bitter, they have the same spongy taste as meat, depending on how you cook them.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Eggs?

You must be wondering why this dark purple-colored vegetable is called an eggplant. Eggplants become spongy and creamy from the inside when you cook them, but still, they do not taste like eggs at all. 

Eggplants have white flesh inside that is soft and mild but differs from eggs in many ways. Even though white eggplants are also available, their taste is different from the eggs.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Squash?

Eggplants have a similar flavor to summer squash or zucchini. Eggplant has a mild, sweet, and soft flavor with a faint vegetal bitterness. As long as the eggplant is prepared properly, its taste will be infused into the dish. It is stiff and spongy when raw but melts in your mouth when cooked (especially when fried, smoked, or braised). You can use eggplants in your recipe if you are looking for squash. You won’t be upset by its taste.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Fish?

Eggplants are wonderful vegetables with so much wonder. It can be replaced with almost any other vegetable and sometimes meat too. Yes! Not kidding! The texture of the eggplant flesh is somewhat similar to fish.

It’s creamy, denser, and soft. When you grill them, it’s hard to find a difference between grilled fish and eggplant. Therefore, it can be easily replaceable and versatile. So, next time you taste it, you will find the surprising fact that eggplant does taste like fish.

Does Eggplant Taste Like Mushroom?

Eggplant is the most versatile and frequently appears on our table throughout the eggplant season. Many recipes can be made with this vegetable, but we can also use the mushrooms and give the exact taste.

But not everyone knows how to prepare eggplant, so they taste like mushrooms. To make eggplant-like mushrooms, remove the seeds from eggplants and fry them.

On What Factors Does Eggplant Taste Depend?

eggplant on the surface

There are many factors on which the taste of eggplant depends. Let’s discuss all those factors here. 

Skin Of The Eggplant

Every time you order eggplant in a restaurant, you love to eat its texture and taste. Cooking eggplant at home is an awesome idea, but many people peel the skin of vegetables and fruits. They do it for cleanliness purposes. However, the eggplant skin is edible, and you can enjoy it in your recipes.

The question is, how? The eggplant skin is nutrient-rich and chewable. So, you can eat the skin of the eggplant. The pro tip – one must know how to cook the eggplant with skin, so it doesn’t feel weird in your mouth. Use fresh eggplant harvested from the farm as it’s less bitter, making it favorable to eat the skin of the eggplant.

Flesh Of The Eggplant

The flesh of the eggplant has a tan to brown spots around the seeds. If the flesh is brown rather than white, the eggplant is likely to be spoiled and should be discarded.

The flesh of the eggplant is mostly pale and creamy, with no visible blemishes. To get a better taste of eggplant in the cooking, remove any dark or bruised areas and any browning seeds, as they can have a bitter taste and an unpleasant texture.

Seeds Of The Eggplant

When you cut into an eggplant and find the center full of seeds is a disappointment. An eggplant seediness is the result of improper harvesting methods. When you find fresh eggplant, you don’t see the seeds, so it gives a better taste in cooking. Therefore, choose the eggplant that doesn’t contain seeds because they taste bitter.

Ripeness Of The Eggplant

When the eggplant has reached ripeness and is glossy and smooth, it’s time to cut it off. The color of ripe eggplant varies depending on the variety. However, color and gloss aren’t everything when it comes to eggplants.

Eggplants should be firm but not hard when ripe. The flesh should be white with a slight green tint. If you are unsure about the ripeness of your eggplant, cut it crosswise and check the seeds. They must be easily visible. The eggplant is not ripe if there are no seeds.

Unripe Eggplant

This question might pop into your mind – how to know whether your eggplant is unripe? Gently squeezing an eggplant will reveal whether it is ripe and ready to pick. If the skin springs back, the vegetable is ready.

If the denture is still present, leave it on the plant. Overripe eggplant loses its shine. The skin of overripe eggplant gets creases. They also have a lot of seeds. In Particular, female eggplants have a lot of seeds.

Ripe Eggplant

Eggplants are consumed before they ripen. The color of an underripe fruit is that classic, shiny purple. Ripe eggplants have a tough, woody texture and are brown when they stop being spongy. When it’s ripe, it turns bitter and inedible.

Due to this, eggplants are always picked before they are fully ripe. To avoid bitter, woody eggplants, pick and eat them at any stage until they begin to ripen. The best time to pick them is when they reach their mature size.

Overripe Eggplant

We often purchase more than we can consume before it is too late. This is the result of overripe eggplant. If you want to make recipes with eggplant and it’s overripe, it pisses you off! Sometimes you don’t understand its overripeness and use them by mistake. So, here are some signs that can help you identify the overripeness of eggplant. 

Overripe eggplant can be transformed into a delectable dip. Toss the chopped eggplant with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, add some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish.

  • It’s squishy or soft.
  • The skin has lost its shine. 
  • The flesh inside the eggplant has a slimy interior.
  • It has rotting or soft spots on it.
  • It stinks or has a foul odor.

How To Make The Eggplant Taste Good?

Eggplant recipe

All the haters of the eggplant – this one is for you! There are tons of articles on the internet telling why eggplants are the worst. Despite the drama around the eggplant, its bitterness, pale taste, and blandness – it is possible to make the eggplant taste good. We tell you – how! 

A good eggplant recipe is all about the sauce and spices. You can enjoy eggplants with oyster sauce and enjoy every bit of it. Also, you can add eggplants to salads, curries, saute-fry, topping on the toast, or even in your pasta dishes. There are multiple ways you can make eggplants taste good and not regret your decision.

11 Different Types of Eggplant and Their Different Tastes

varieties of eggplants

We will also discuss the different types of eggplant in today’s article. These eggplants are different from each other in terms of size, color, taste, and texture. Tastewise, some are bitter, sweet, and bland too. The bitterness of the eggplants depends on the density of seeds in the flesh. 

With this list, you can choose a desirable type of eggplant to get success in your recipes. Overall, these eggplants are used differently for various recipes like grilling, sauteing, stir-fry, curries, and soups. Get to know how they can be used for recipes and what exactly they taste like. Keep reading.

There are 11 varieties of eggplant. They are all mentioned in the table.

TypesFlavors
Chinese EggplantSlight bitter, less sweet
Fairytale EggplantSweet, non-bitter
American EggplantSlight bitter
Graffiti/Zebra/Sicilian EggplantLess bitter
Indian EggplantMild sweet 
Italian EggplantSlightly sweeter
Japanese EggplantMild sweet
Little Green EggplantBland
Rosa Bianca EggplantBland
Thai EggplantMild sweet
White EggplantLess bitter 

How To Find The Best Eggplants At Store?

eggplants in the basket

When the eggplant season is there, you might buy more eggplants. It is versatile, so you can use it in various ways. However, picking out the best eggplant might be a scratch on your head. Don’t worry! I will tell you things to look for when buying eggplant at stores. First and foremost, eggplant weight is very much important. Eggplant is heavy itself because that gives a positive sign that the flesh in the eggplant is fresh.

Second, a plant’s skin should be vivid, smooth, and shiny, as a dull exterior is a sign of poor storage. This could mean that it’s going to be better. Third, the eggplant stem is green. It is important to pay attention to the skin and equally to the steam. Eggplant should be free of any mold or decay. 

Fourth, an eggplant should feel slightly spongy when pressed with your fingers. It should give a little bounce back. If it feels very soft, it means that the eggplant is old.

Lastly, choose a small to medium size eggplant to avoid bitterness. While all the eggplants are slightly bitter, you can still choose the best one based on size. The bigger the size, the more the seeds are scattered, which will feel better in your mouth.

Recipes That Use Eggplant

Eggplant

Eggplant is a controversial vegetable but we can’t forget its nutritional rich contents. It’s healthy and best for diet recipes. I am giving you some amazing eggplant recipe ideas and their usage. All these recipes are loved by people all around the world. You can make grilled eggplant, grilled ratatouille tartines, Thai green eggplant curry, eggplant salad, eggplant Indian curries, etc. Find some amazing eggplant recipes that you can try next time.

1. Eggplant Parmesan 

The layers of eggplant, Parmesan, mozzarella, and marinara in this dish are definitely crave-worthy, but we know you’ll be making the quick marinara again and again. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two months.

2. Grilled Eggplant Chickpea Wraps

Grilled eggplant chickpea wraps are simple vegetarian wraps inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. This amazing staple dish goes well with garlicky yogurt sauce. Get a good char on the eggplant and use juicy tomatoes for a perfect taste. 

3. Eggplant Parmesan Meatloaf 

Eggplant parmesan meatloaf is the version of Italian comfort food. It’s so hearty when baked with layering crispy fried eggplant, then topping it with tomato-basil marinara and mozzarella. This one is sure to catch your heart with its flavor and taste.

Nutrition Content Of Eggplant

eggplant cut into slices

Eggplant not only stops at the delicious taste but also comes with surprising health benefits. This veggie is packed with nutrients. Make sure to include eggplants in your everyday diet.

Eggplant has ( 100 grams ) 25 calories, 0.2-gram fat content, and a good amount of manganese and fibers. This vegetable is rich in antioxidants and prevents cell damage. It also can help cells with the job of processing if you have diabetes.

Nutrients (Per 1 cup cubed Eggplant)Amount
Calories 33.6 kcal
Carbohydrates8.29 grams
Protein0.8 grams
Sugar3.04 grams
Fat0.2-gram
Fiber2.4 grams
Magnesium10.6 milligrams
Calcium7.4 milligrams

Conclusion

Eggplant is a nightshade vegetable loaded with so many nutrients. Eggplant has multiple varieties like green, pink, white, and orange. Each variety has its own flavor and properties. Eggplant has a slightly sweet and tender taste.

Eggplant is a healthy addition to your daily diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. It has a bitter flavor that some people do not like. You can cook eggplant with various seasonings and enjoy consuming it in different ways.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does eggplant taste like meat?

Eggplant has a rich meaty taste and it is really versatile. You can prepare it with several methods like frying, grilling, or boiling.

Should I peel eggplant?

The skin of the plant is edible. But in some dishes, you have to remove the skin of older eggplants to avoid a bitter taste.

What is the best way to eat eggplant?

You can always cut the eggplants into cubes and it is ready to add to your favorite curry sauce.

What are the benefits of eggplant?

Eggplant has antioxidants and vitamins and it will protect you against damage. It can also play a better job to save you from diabetes.

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