Some people might be surprised to learn how many types of eggplant are available to eat today. They’re grown in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, and many of them are beautiful enough to use as a centerpiece on a dining room table.
But what are the differences between some of these varieties? In this post, we’ll compare and contrast eggplant vs Japanese eggplant so you’ll know what’s similar and different between them.
Maybe by the end of the article, you’ll even know which one you’d like to try next.
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We’ll start by giving a quick disclaimer: there are many kinds of eggplant. We can’t just leave the comparison at eggplant alone, so we had to pick a particular kind for the comparison.
American eggplant is the most common type of eggplant in the United States, so we’ll be comparing that to Japanese eggplant.
You’ve probably seen an American eggplant before. These are some of the largest eggplants you can find, with a big oval shape.
Their skin is shiny and taut when they’re at the best maturity.
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However, Japanese eggplant has a dark, inky color that makes it very distinct. It’s been grown in Japan for over 1,200 years and often represents good luck.
It’s important to mention that there are multiple kinds of Japanese eggplant. Our description is therefore more of a high-level overview of them rather than being specific.
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Eggplant vs Japanese Eggplant Comparison
The greatest difference between these eggplants will be how they look. American eggplant, as you’ve probably seen already, has a big and oblong shape.
Their skin is typically a dark purple color with a waxy sheen over the top. It’s smooth and taut with a complete lack of wrinkles if you harvest it at the right time.
Japanese eggplant is a lot thinner. It has a long, skinny shape and can be slightly curved sometimes.
Unlike American eggplant, though, its skin is extremely dark. There’s a purple tone to it, but it’s close to being black.
How do these two eggplants hold up when it comes to flavor?
You might already have an idea of what an American eggplant tastes like, because this is the one you’ll see most often in grocery stores. It has a delicate and slightly earthy flavor that’s comparable to squash.
Japanese eggplant’s taste is a bit bolder. It has a sweetness to it that you don’t often find in eggplant. Its texture is kind of fleshy, with a sponge-like resistance.
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The way these eggplants grow is also pretty close. Both need a well-draining soil. That’s because eggplants love water, but they shouldn’t sit in waterlogged soil for long.
We usually recommend one or two inches of water for them a week. It’s best to give them this water in one time, because it gives the water plenty of time to soak into the soil.
Make sure you allow two or three feet between rows of these plants. They both grow fairly large, so the plants needs space.
You can also start them at the same time. Both can be grown before the final frost has passed, so they often need to be started indoors.
Truthfully, Japanese and American eggplant have more in common than they do different. The main difference between them is their size and appearance.
It would also be easier to find American eggplant in the average grocery store in the United States than it would be to find Japanese eggplant. For that reason, if you’re interested in trying Japanese eggplant, you may want to buy seed packets and grow your own.