Eggplant is a tasty, low-priced, healthy food that we can commonly use in daily meals. It tastes mildly bitter with a delicate and juicy texture. Besides, another great point about eggplant is its versatility.
You can roast, boil, stir-fry, or fry it with literally any other ingredients from chicken, beef, pork to vegetables.
However, you must know that eggplant is quickly spoiled. If not maintained properly, your eggplant will turn bad in a short period!
So, how to know if eggplant is bad? How long does it last based on different heat ranges? Scroll down to know more!
All About Eggplant
Eggplant (or aubergine) is a vegetable that originated from the nightshade family plant. Therefore, it shares a similar composition, shape, size, and color with zucchini, okra, and tomatoes.
Eggplant normally grows in hot and humid environments like tropical countries. Based on the eggplant variant, its size can vary from two inches in diameter to more than 12 inches.
What Does Eggplant Taste Like?
So, let’s move to the most curious part: What does eggplant taste like? Similar to zucchini, eggplant tastes bitter (mildly!), tender, juicy, and mild.
More interesting, eggplant absorbs the flavor and smell of any other ingredient it’s cooked with. You must choose the suitable food pair with eggplant to avoid the food turning soggy, overly bitter, or pungent.
How To Cook Eggplant?
As mentioned above, eggplant is versatile. With the mild taste and delicate texture, you can cook eggplant in any form without any worry.
When preparing the vegetable, please be aware that you must peel off the fibrous outer skin cleanly and completely. To enjoy the eggplant most tastily, you’d better chop it off or slice it into smaller slices and grill. Eggplant parmesan is one of the top popular recipes with this method!
If you are still unsatisfied with the eggplant’s absorbance, try salting the soft eggplant‘s flesh to release a bit of moisture from the flesh and allowing more seasoning absorbent for the eggplant.
Here is a more creative way to cook eggplant:
- First, fire-roast or broil the raw eggplant until all the exterior is charred.
- Then, you scoop out just the flesh, squeeze it and blend into a dip with other sauces. You can use eggplant with meat, eggs, vegetables, rice, or even noodles with this approach.
How Long Does Eggplant Last?
The eggplant shelf life depends mostly on how you store it. Continue reading to find out the difference in its lifespan based on temperature and storage method!
How Long Does Eggplant Last At Room Temperature?
Ideally, at room temperature 20–22 °C (68–72 °F), the eggplant can stay edible for a maximum of four to five days. The cut one will last for shorter – about 30 minutes. After this period, the plant starts rotting.
Based on our experience, this vegetable seems to taste better if stored in a dry, cool pantry, in crystal or paper containers than in plastic bags and the refrigerator.
More importantly, you must avoid storing it in a closed environment with ethylene-released fruits like bananas, apples, pears, lemons, peaches. If you accidentally keep them together, the ethylene gas will make both fruits rotten twice faster!
How Long Does Eggplant Last In The Fridge?
You can prolong the shelf life of eggplants by putting them in the fridge. Not just 4-5 days like room temperature, fridge temperature can preserve it for 2-3 weeks! Please note that this information is adaptable to whole uncut eggplants, and the taste will be less tasty than when you keep it in the pantry.
For the cut version, you will be able to use them in only 3-4 days, regardless of the environment.
How Long Does Eggplant Last In The Freezer?
Freezing has always been the ideal choice to lengthen the storage period for a dish. If you only store the food for 3 to 4 days at room temperature, then, after freezing, the longevity can rise to 3 to 6 months!
The case is the same for eggplant. When being frozen, the eggplant can last up to A YEAR. Amazing, right? One good news here: no matter if the eggplant is cut (already) or still whole, the expiration date remains a year.
In the next section, we will answer the question, “How to tell if eggplant is bad?”. Read on!
How To Know If Eggplant Is Bad
Eating spoiled eggplants is never a great idea because you will get stomach, foodborne, and diarrhea. So, how do you know if eggplant is bad? Let’s learn some signs to check for rotten aubergine!
#1. Check The Appearance
What does a bad eggplant look like, then? We can detect bad food just by checking its appearance. It is still edible if the food is firm, fresh, juicy, and has no black dots or brown mold!
Next, Inspect one more round to see whether there are any cracks on the skin. Quickly check the overall color of the food after that. If it seems to turn brown, discard it!
#2. Check The Texture
The second question you should ask yourselves, what does bad eggplant look like in terms of texture?
Pressing on the stem of the plant, is it delicate? Does it look fresh and have no weird spots?
#3. Look For The Rotten Spots On The Flesh
If you are still unsure about the edibility of the vegetable, then chop it out and inspect the flesh. Are there any weird smells and weird spots in the flesh?
Using a spoon, mildly push on the flesh. How does it feel? Is it mushy and spongy?
#4. Test The Smell
Sniff the flesh of the eggplant. Ideally, an edible vegetable will have no distinctive smell at all. In case you detect any weird odor, there must be a problem!
There are two cases when an eggplant has a strange smell: it is too old or spoiled. In both situations, the best resolution is to throw away the plant.
How To Freeze Eggplant To Maximize Its Shelf Life?
After learning how to tell if eggplant is rotten, we will guide you briefly on freezing the aubergine to maximize the shelf life to more than months!
Note that you should only apply this method when it is impossible to go shopping for new plants in the long term. As mentioned above, the vegetable tastes quite bad when being frozen, remember that?
- Wash the eggplants carefully, then stir them until dry.
- Peel the plants and chop them into half-inch round slices. It does not require to be exactly half-inch, but the thinner, the better.
- Boil the vinegar or lemon juice mixture with water.
- Next, dip slices of them into the boiling water and wait for 15 minutes until the slices turn translucent.
- Consequently, take the slices out of the boiling water and soak them into iced water immediately.
- After a short period, take them out and dry (again). Store the eggplants in Ziploc bags and label the bag for easy track!
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Pick A Good Eggplant?
To choose a good and tasty eggplant, you should pay attention to the texture and the size. For example, if the skin is smooth, shiny, and has no weird spots and smells, it must be good!
The good eggplant is purple, white, or green in color. There should not be discoloration, bruises, or scars, either. Take a look at the stem and cap. If they are bright green, feel soft when pressing, then that plant is good.
How To Tell If Eggplant Is Ripe?
You can base on the firmness of the eggplant to judge whether it is ripe or not. If the eggplant is big, fully-formed with stem, cap, flesh, and has smooth and shiny skin, check whether the plant is firm or not. If the food is still hard, wait for more days for it to ripen!
In case the plant is firm, cut it off the tree. Slice the plant and see the flesh. What is its color? Is it white with a green tint? The seeds are ripeness’ detecting factors as well. If the seeds are visible, the plant is surely ripe enough.
Can You Eat Eggplant With Brown Seeds?
Yes, you can. It is normal to see the eggplant seeds brown. However, if the flesh is just as tan brown as the seeds, there may be spoilage that you must throw the vegetable away immediately!
How to know if eggplant is bad? In our opinion, there are four factors that you should check: appearance, texture, rotten spots, and smell. Please follow our guidelines to find out the bad plants, and avoid them.
Besides, we have covered some basic information you should know about eggplants, like the freezing method, shopping tips, and their shelf life. Hope all this information is helpful for you!