What Does an Eggplant Taste Like?

Eggplant is a bit of a funny looking fruit (it’s not a vegetable!) The long, bulbous shape is paired with an often purple exterior and a green stem to create a visual that some people just don’t get along with. Eggplant, however, tastes pleasant and is actually good for you.

The eggplant is technically a large berry, but it doesn’t taste like one. Eggplant has it’s own unique taste.

What does eggplant taste like?

Eggplant is a great fruit for a variety of reasons: It doesn’t taste overly strong, so it’s flavor alone won’t make it especially unpleasant for those who are normally vegetable averse. The eggplant is more tender and mild, with a slight sweetness and overall slight bitterness. 

Eggplant does taste a lot like zucchini. Some tasters also believe that eggplant tastes a bit like meat. These people are probably referring more to texture, but it’s also possible they literally mean they cooked the eggplant with meat.

Eggplant, like other water based vegetables, tends to take on the taste of foods it’s cooked with. This also makes it a perfect vegetable to add to a stir fry, salad, or anything else potentially with meat – especially amongst those who don’t normally wish to eat the “good for you” kinds of vegetables. 

Eggplant doesn’t taste like eggs – why is it called eggplant?

White eggplants, when they first start growing, have an egg like appearance. The end result doesn’t look like an egg in most cultures. The word eggplant certainly describes it’s initial appearance well though, and could help someone find it growing amongst other plants.

So no, eggplant does not have the sulfur taste or texture of eggs.

This could be a good thing if you don’t like eggs!

Some people do report that eggplant can taste bitter. To help remove bitterness, use a little bit of salt as the bitterness is lacked within the water in the eggplant. Salt helps to draw this water out.

What is the texture of eggplant like?

Uncooked eggplant has a spongy texture that tastes like zucchini but less crispy. 

The spongy texture and nature of the eggplant also make it a great candidate for dishes in which it can take on other flavors. Cooking eggplant in dishes with any other food you like can help transfer the flavor over and add some taste to the eggplant itself.

Cooked eggplant when done correctly has a more buttery, creamy texture than uncooked eggplant. 

Since many people prefer the buttery, creamy texture, it might help to know how to achieve that:

First, soak the eggplant in milk. Milk or other similar dairy liquids absorb into the eggplant and make it potentially more creamy.

The next step is to cut up the eggplant into small pieces and put the small pieces on an oven safe tray.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the eggplant for 20-30 minutes.

You can also salt the eggplant to potentially remove bitterness.

Soaking the eggplant in milk will also help add milk and moisture to any dish you are making, so you might be able to use less liquid elsewhere.

What can I use eggplant in?

Eggplant can be cooked with just about anything. The eggplant can be served as it’s own dash with a dash of salt, pepper, and coil. 

It’s also quite easy to cut and dice, and makes a great addition to salads and casseroles, while offering the addition of any flavor you soak it in – or just extra creaminess.

Adding vinegar, thyme, and lemon or lime juice can spruce up eggplant and make it standout within an existing recipe or on it’s own. 

You’ll also want to roast eggplant at a high temperature (as indicated above, at 400 degrees) to ensure that the outsides get seared and caramelized. You can then flip these if you want the same effect all around the eggplant pieces.

Is Eggplant good for you?

Eggplants are actually really good for you and are basically a “superfood,” which literally means that the eggplant packs tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into a small portion without many calories.

Eggplant also has the potential to lower cholesterol by being absorbent, which does help reduce the chances of heart attacks by removing the cholesterol that causes blocked veins. The same applies to sugar control and diabetes. Like oatmeal, eggplant does a good job of being absorbent while also having some fiber and being readily passed through the human body.

Given the fiber and low amount of calories, eggplant can make you feel full faster and keep you feeling full longer. The result is a lower appetite because your body works through eggplant slowly, which means the hormones that trigger hunger don’t come on as fast.

Eggplant is OK to eat every day. Doing so will actually keep you regular – and it really depends on the source you like for fiber. Consider that unlike many other sources of fibers, you can readily modify eggplants taste.

Are there any negatives about eggplant?

Eggplant could upset your stomach. The vegetable either contains or can be sprayed with alkaloids to keep pests off when they are growing, which can cause digestive issues in people with sensitive stomachs.

If eating eggplant, or really anything, leads to stomach problems, you should either consult a doctor or stop eating the food.

Conclusion

Did you think eggplant was a vegetable? Honestly, so did we! Eggplant is actually a very large member of the berry family. 

The eggplant works well in many dishes and is highly modifiable. Like other fruits and veggies, it can readily be eaten by itself with the right spices to make it extra tasty or thrown into a bowl with other ingredients where it kind of blends in.

Finally, it actually has some serious health benefits. While not completely conclusive or clinically proven, the nature and substance of eggplant suggest it’s possible that eggplant can help beyond helping you go to the bathroom often and clearing out your digestive system.