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Storing eggplant successfully can be done at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer. This fruit is delicate, so some of the processes for storing it may be time consuming. The length of time an eggplant stays fresh, however, can be directly affected by the type of storage used.
An eggplant is technically a fruit, although many believe it be a vegetable. It is a member of the nightshade, or Solanaceae, family. This fruit comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the skin color of an eggplant usually depends on the type of eggplant and the way it was cultivated. Skins range in color and may appear as white, green, yellow, purple, or even black; sometimes it has a mottled or multi-colored appearance, too. The inside of the fruit is green when it is premature and white when it is mature.
When storing eggplant at room temperature, outside of the refrigerator, the fruit must be kept whole. It will go bad quickly at room temperature if the skin has been cut. Kept whole, however, eggplant will stay fresh for up to three days.
Using a refrigerator can lengthen the lifespan of this fruit. If left uncut, eggplant can be stored for up to five days in the fridge. Before storing eggplant this way, though, individuals should always remove any plastic wrapping and use warm water to clean it. When placing the eggplant in the refrigerator, it is important to handle the fruit with care to avoid piercing the skin in any way. The eggplant should be placed at the bottom of the fridge; the crisper drawer is most often used when storing eggplant due to the fact that it is warmer than the rest of the refrigerator.
Long-term storage of an eggplant involves using a freezer. In this method, the eggplant must be washed, the tops must be cut off, and it should be skinned. It can then be cut into pieces and soaked in a mixture of boiling water and lemon juice. After it has been allowed to boil in this mixture for a little less than five minutes, it can be placed in ice water to stop the cooking process.
When storing eggplant in the freezer, vacuum or freezer bags can be used. Freezer bags can keep the fruit fresh for up to five months. Vacuum bags keep the eggplant good for up to 14 months. When the fruit is needed, it can be thawed and cooked.
@indigomoth - I tend to buy a bit too much eggplant at once too, and I do sometimes freeze it. I've never tried freezing it by itself though. Usually I'll cook it into some meal and then freeze the whole thing together.
I don't think it makes much of a difference to the taste. And eggplant tends to be a bit soggy anyway when it is cooked with other vegetables, so the texture seems the same as well. I don't think eggplant that has been fried or grilled would do so well with this method though, as it would probably lose its texture.
The lemon juice in the recipe in the article would probably keep it quite fresh though. I always use lemon juice to keep my cut eggplant from discoloring if I have to store it overnight.
I do always tend to buy eggplant thinking that I'll use it right away and then not touch it for a week. I guess this is partly because I only do my shopping at the weekly farmers market and when eggplant is cheap, I'll try to buy a lot of it.
It does seem to last the week in the fridge without having to worry too much about it, but sometimes I'll go to get it and it will have gone bad.
It's good to know there is a way to freeze it. Does it taste much different when it is thawed out again?
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