There are many varieties of eggplant such as American, Italian, Chinese, Green Goddess and Rosa Bianca. Eggplants do not stay fresh for long, therefore it is better use them within a few days of purchase. The smaller eggplants have less of a bitter taste.
The Italian Eggplant
Italian eggplants are large dark purple fruits, classified as berries. The Italian eggplant tends to be long, up to eight inches in length and wider at base. The Italian eggplants are smaller than the American variety but similar in taste and appearance.
Varieties & Names
The selections of Italian eggplants available include Vittoria PS, Listada de Gandia, Rotonda Bianca di Imola, Cucuzzi, Prosperosa, Volette di Firenze and Nadia. Alternate names for eggplants are aubergine, garden egg, egg apple and guinea squash.
The Italian eggplant should not be eaten raw but can be baked, sautéed and grilled. Eggplants have a soft spongy interior meaning that they can soak up flavors from garlic, spices and herbs efficiently. If roasted first, they also can be used in warm salads.