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Eggplant

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm making moussaka. I once heard that if you soak eggplant in salt water it takes the bitterness away. Is this true?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 13
>>> Is this true?

if you want it to be.

seriously the 'eggplant is bitter' thing has been overcome by modern varieties. so if you're using eggplant from your grandmother's seed stock, might wanna salt&drain it. otherwise buying out of the grocery store or off my own plants I just peel slice cook.
post #3 of 13
I don't know as it was ever really true. Sure, there are some varieties---particularly the Asians---that are bitter. But by and large, even the larger heirloom varieties we're more familiar with aren't bitter.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Do you usually peel eggplants? I don't. Could that account for people's sensitivity to it?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 13
I've never found eggplant appealing. More for it's vacuosness than bitterness. Rather than taking on or giving flavor it almost seems to repel or destroy flavor.

Baba Ghanoush is the exception that proves the rule for me. And that particular dish is peeled.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 13
Soaking in salt water will just make it salty and waterlogged, imo.

Many people do sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices or cubes, then press them to remove the bitter juices. This also dries it out and firms it up some. (Another thing people dislike about eggplant is the wet mushiness.) But then you have to rinse off the excess salt and dry the eggplant. My mother used to do this, for sure. Do I? No. Because it's too much trouble and extra time, and I've never had a problem with eggplant being bitter; I like bitter as a flavor, anyway, and I love the texture of eggplant.

I only peel if the skin is really, really tough. But sometimes not even then, since it makes a texture contrast. And I think it looks really neat. Has nothing to do with bitterness -- if it's there at all, I think it's in the water in the flesh.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 13
>>>Do you usually peel eggplants?

I have two fav eggplant dishes.

eggplant Parmesan - either as a casserole or on an italian roll

slices of breaded / fried eggplant as a side

actually, both are breaded,,,,,

once upon a time I tried a white eggplant with peel. not never again with the peel thingie.

perhaps because I saute/fry them quick-quick-quick the skin does not go soft - it turns into a chewy chunky goopy mess in my mouth.

oh....

>>>people's sensitivity

there is no such thing in my experience - unless you tell them what they are eating.
it's like liver - people who have never ever in their whole life eaten liver rabidly hate it.

much like Vista, come to think on it . . .
post #8 of 13
No, I hate liver because we DID eat it. Liverwurst, dirty rice and some other dishes work for me, but mostly where it's used as a minor accent.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
My hubby's throat gets itchy when he eats eggplant, even if he doesn't know what he's eating. This may have something to do with how it's grown.

I like cutting eggplant in less thant 1/4 inch slices, seasoned and very lightly dusted with flour and frying in olive oil. Delicious.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 13
I love aubergine. I used to salt it,but honestly, over the past 10 years or so, I haven't bothered - and it doesn't seem to make any difference to the final result.
post #11 of 13
so what on earth is the issue? you ate it, you didn't like it. no problem.

my point is all the people who have never so much as tasted liver but still hate it.
it's a perception thing. many are wrong.
post #12 of 13
I would always salt and press my eggplant before using them.


...Until the last time I made eggplant Parmesan


I decided to see exactly how an "untreated" eggplant would taste in eggplant Parmesan. lightly seasoned flour, milk, panko and a quick pan fry/sauté. Texture was much better than with the salt/press or salt and water. I also skin them and cook them fairly quick for Parmesan.





Both eggplants were small/medium as I was trying to keep the seeds small. Now I've heard about the sex differences in eggplant before, but I've never had any instances where there was a large difference in eggplant, until this time. As I said each eggplant was similar in weight but they did differ in shape. One was a bit more slender and the other was wider and had a large indentation at the blossom end. The seeds in the slender plant were of normal small size in the normal layout. But the seeds in the wider plant were like little dispersed specs. This is the first time I noticed an obvious difference in seeds from one eggplant to another of similar size.

I've tried to pick different eggplants before (based on the innie/outie blossom end) with results that were no different. Until now. Could this selection be repeatable? Don't know???


Baba Ghanoush is a nice treat, Yum!

dan
post #13 of 13
I love eggplant, any and all preparations. Here's a pretty good article on eggplant, they mention the salting thing at the end:

washingtonpost.com
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