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How to Select an Eggplant

Step 1

Pick up the eggplant and feel its weight. A ripe and healthy eggplant should feel heavy for its size. If you are not sure, try picking up a few other eggplants to get a sense of what they weigh.

Step 2

Turn the eggplant around, examining it carefully for dents, bruises, indentations or discoloring. A perfect eggplant should have none of these deformities. A damaged eggplant might be bruised, tough or rotten inside. Some eggplant varieties are naturally striped or mottled; this is perfectly acceptable and should not be considered discoloration.

Step 3

Hold the eggplant in the brightest light you can find and look at its skin. It should be smooth and glossy rather than dull, puckered or wrinkled.

Step 4

Poke the eggplant gently with one finger. A ripe eggplant will give slightly but immediately spring back to shape as soon as you remove your finger. An overripe eggplant will dent permanently, while an under-ripe eggplant will not give under your finger except with very forceful pressure.

Step 5

Squeeze the entire eggplant gently, moving your hands all over its surface. If you feel any especially soft spots, the eggplant is probably internally bruised.

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