is a member of the nightshade family, it's
related to the potato and tomato. Though
commonly thought of as a vegetable, eggplant
is actually a fruit, specifically a berry.
many varieties of this delicious food,
ranging in color from rich purple to white,
in length from 2 to 12 inches and in shape
from oblong to round. In the United States,
the most common eggplant is the large,
cylindrical- or pear-shape variety with a
smooth, glossy, dark purple skin. Choose a
firm, smooth-skinned eggplant heavy for its
size; avoid those with soft or brown spots.
Eggplants become bitter with age and are
very perishable. They should be stored in a
cool, dry place and used within a day or two
of purchase. If longer storage is necessary,
place the eggplant in the refrigerator
vegetable drawer. Eggplant can be prepared
in a variety of ways including baking,
broiling and frying. It does, however, have
spongelike capacity to soak up oil so it
should be well coated with a batter or crumb
mixture to inhibit fat absorption.