Sometimes, you just can’t get why a food is well-loved by the masses.
This is the case for a large amount of people when it comes to eggplant. There’s actually a poll that showed that 20% of people in the United States say eggplant is their least favorite vegetable. (Interesting fact: eggplant is actually a fruit, and we explained why here.)
So if you catch yourself thinking eggplant is so gross every time you come across it, know you’re far from the only one. A fifth of the United States agrees with you.
In this article, we’ll help you determine why eggplant can be gross, and if there are things you can do to make it more appealing.
Quick Answer: Why is Eggplant so Gross?
Because people have all kinds of different preferences, there’s an abundance of reasons for why you feel it’s gross. However, some of the most common reasons people dislike eggplant are that it’s bitter, it can be too chewy, it can be mushy, or it can turn an unattractive brown color after cooking.
Top Eggplant Complaints (and How to Get Around Them)
It’s too bitter.
The first reason you might dislike eggplant is the taste. Some eggplant can get quite bitter, and that might be a flavor profile you don’t like.
However, eggplant doesn’t have to be bitter. If you pick eggplant at the right time, you stand a much better chance of getting one that with a mild taste.
That’s because the older eggplant gets, the bitterer it gets. Try to choose one that’s smooth, shiny, and firm.
If you’re worried that it’s still going to taste bitter, you can salt your eggplant prior to cooking. Let it rest in the salt for at least half an hour, then rinse the salt away. It should be ready to cook with a less bitter taste.
Want to know what else you can to do cut down the bitter flavor? You can read our article about it here.
It’s too chewy.
Another issue with eggplant is that it can be too chewy. Not many people like feeling as if they’re chewing on something made of rubber.
There’s a couple reasons this may happen. One might be that the eggplant you’ve eaten wasn’t cooked all the way.
The other reason may be that the eggplant was harvested when it was too old. Its texture tends to get worse with age.
Just like eggplant can get too tough, the opposite problem can sometimes be the case. Rather than being difficult to bite into, it might be a shapeless pile of mush on your plate.
If this is the problem you’re facing, it’s likely that the eggplant on your plate was overcooked. Should you make it again, cook it for a shorter amount of time. Make sure you taste and test it throughout cooking to be sure it’s not too soft.
It turns a gross brown color after being cooked.
A lot of the time, the way a food looks matters just as much as how it tastes. Even if something tastes absolutely wonderful, you won’t want to eat it as much if it looks like something that belongs in the trash.
Eggplant very famously turns brown after it’s been cooked. Fortunately, there are a few methods of cooking it that preserve the beautiful coloration, such as steaming, boiling, and frying. You can learn more about those methods here.
You’ve Tried Everything and It Still Tastes Bad – Here’s Why…
So you’ve tried everything. You’ve salted your eggplant, picked it when it was young, and cooked it for exactly the right amount of time…and it still tastes terrible.
Well, it turns out, it might be due to factors that are internal more than external. It might just be that you have a lot of taste buds, which means you can taste more of the bitterness or other flavors in the eggplant.
In that case, there isn’t anything you can do to change it. Eggplant may not be for you, and that’s okay.
No two people are exactly alike. This is a good thing – life would be pretty boring if everyone was exactly the same.
These differences are apparent when it comes to the culinary world. Take eggplant, for example. Some people love it, and others absolutely hate it. Whether it’s because you have a predisposition to disliking it or because it wasn’t the best recipe, it’s normal to have your own unique taste preferences.