Rachael Ray's Pro Tip For Choosing Eggplants

Eggplant season, which, according to Food Network, is from July to October, is in full swing. Time to make eggplant parmesan, the Moroccan dip Zaalouk, French fried eggplant, grilled eggplant, ratatouille, and the list goes on. As per Medical News Today, eggplant is part of the nightshade family, so if you have an allergy to this fruit, sorry. But you can still cook it for your loved ones. Of course, as Food Network points out, we've only been eating this vegetable in the U.S. for a little more than 50 years because people seeing it for the first time believed it could cause insanity and cancer.

Now, we write odes to these purple, white, black, and green "teardrop" shaped vegetables that Food & Wine points out actually go by the name aubergine when you are visiting the United Kingdom. This produce is also a little bit sexist. If you enjoy those that are a little bitter to the palette, then you want to choose a female eggplant that not only contains more seeds than the male eggplant but also has a deep indentation in the form of a dash. Food Network explains that the male eggplant is sweeter, and when you check out its bottom, the indentation will be round and not very deep. Let the puerile jokes begin, but once you're done, we have another eggplant pro tip brought to you by celebrity cook Rachael Ray via Twitter.

Look for heavy and firm produce

Ray is taking full advantage of eggplant season and making her melitzanosalata, or grilled eggplant dip. The woman who understands 30-minute meals are a way of life tweeted her pro tip to help newbs, as well as those who are immersed in the world of the eggplant, to serve as a guide when you are picking one out at the grocery store. After all, you can't just choose the first eggplant you see. Ray's Twitter advice says that you should "buy heavy and very firm eggplants with green tops — spongy eggplants with darkened tops are not fresh or have gotten too cold and will be discolored inside and bitter." Mind blown! Who knew?

Bon Appétit reveals that you also want the skin to be smooth and shiny. The food site also cautions that you want to avoid those with wrinkles as this is a sign it was picked a long time ago, and of course, skip those eggplants with soft areas or brown marks. While eggplants can stay in the fridge for a few days, if you don't plan on eating them within that time frame, you might want to grill and puree them for later use. Eggplant season will be over before you blink, so enjoy!