Once called by some “the mad apple” was superstitiously believed to cause insanity. Eggplant, a fruit, is closely related to the tomato and potato. It is used as a meat substitute in vegetarian cuisine in many parts of the world. 20lbs of eggplant contains the same amount of nicotine as one cigarette. Experimental botanist Thomas Jefferson brought the eggplant to the United States, where the eggplant was primarily used as a table ornament.
Fresh eggplant have smooth shiny skins. The green end should be a little moist and firmly attached. Press the skin gently and look for an indentation that disappears soon after pressing.
Store in a cool place but, not in a refrigerator, this causes browning of the skin. Store for no longer than 2-3 days.
The flesh will oxidize and turn brown very quickly after cutting. Be sure to not undercook. It should be cooked to the point of sweet collapse. Salting is recommended by some food scientists as a way to make eggplant less prone to absorbing excess cooking fats and to improve its texture when cooked. To salt; slice or cut eggplant into desired chunks. Layer in colander and sprinkle each layer with sea salt. Allow juices to run off into sink or bowl. Discard juices and rinse eggplant thoroughly. Drain and pat dry.