Bad eggplants are unpleasant and inedible, so you do not want to eat them by mistake. Luckily, it is easy to tell that your eggplant is still fresh or has gone bad so long as you can use your senses for sight, smell, and taste.
How can you tell if an eggplant is bad?
Some ways to tell if an eggplant is bad are by inspecting its color, taste, smell, and texture. Also, check for mold, insects, and worms as bad eggplants usually attract these organisms.
How can you store eggplants so that they do not go bad as quickly? What does a rotten eggplant look like? Continue reading to find out.
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What Does Bad or Rotten Eggplant Look Like?
Here are some ways to tell that your eggplant is bad:
1. It Looks Wrinkly
Fresh eggplant must be shiny and feel smooth to the touch. If the skin is wrinkly and does not look shiny, it has gone bad or will soon become inedible.
If the skin is wrinkly, you may want to throw it into the trashcan or continue to inspect it with other inspection methods.
2. Its Color Becomes Dull
What is the color of your eggplant? If it is not shiny dark purple and looks gray or even paler, there is a high chance that it has either gone bad or will soon go bad.
The color of your eggplant should be appealing to you, so if it looks dull and bland, you may want to dispose of it.
3. The Eggplant Gets a Rotten Odor
Using a knife, cut open the fruit and then smell the inside. How does it smell? Eggplant should not have a bad or rotten smell. If it does, it has gone bad.
The smell of fresh eggplant is not pungent at all; whereas the smell of bad eggplant is usually associated with other characteristics that we will discuss soon.
4. It Has a Squishy Texture
Press the fruit with your hands and see if it is firm or squishy. Fresh eggplant should be firm and difficult to press.
As for bad eggplants, they are filled with pockets of air inside, so they become squishy. You do not want to eat squishy eggplants as they are already decaying from the inside.
5. The Color Inside Becomes Dark
Using a knife, open the eggplant and observe the color inside. If it is already brown before (not after) you cut the fruit, the fruit is not edible. Eggplant that is already brown inside has started to rot from the inside, so you do not want to eat it.
However, if the eggplant turns brown only after you open the fruit, it is safe to eat. The inside turns brown due to oxidation and not because the fruit is bad. Something similar happens to apples, bananas, and other fruits.
6. Presence of Mold
One of the best ways to tell that your eggplant is bad is when you see mold growing on the skin. Mold on your eggplants means that there are fungi already growing inside.
7. The Presence of Insects and Worms
Eggplant that is already decaying from the inside will have a lot of insects and worms.
The eggplant must have been abandoned for a long time before it starts to attract these pests, but the presence of pests is an indication that the eggplant is indeed bad and not inedible. The next step to take is to dispose of it.
8. It Has a Slimy Exterior
Due to the decaying microbes, the skin of your bad eggplant will become slimy and somewhat unpleasant to touch. If you are in doubt about whether your slimy eggplant is bad or not, wash it with running water and then inspect it. You can inspect it with other tests such as the ones that we have discussed so far.
9. The Eggplant Will Have a Very Bad Taste
Bad eggplants have a bad taste. You cannot eat them, nor can you cook with them as their taste becomes very unpleasant.
As soon as you see that your eggplant is bad, dispose of it and do not try to eat it. Only taste the fruit if you are not sure whether it is bad or not after using the other methods discussed so far.
As you can see, it is straightforward to tell if your eggplant is bad.
The Best Way to Store Cooked Eggplant
If you have cooked eggplant, here are some methods to store it so that it can last longer:
1. Store It in a Freezer
Well, you should eat your cooked eggplants immediately after cooking them as they go bad quickly. However, if you want to store cooked eggplants, make use of the freezer.
A freezer with 0°F or lower is optimal for your cooked eggplants and they can stay for a few days or weeks. Please do not leave them in the freezer for more than two months.
2. Store It in a Refrigerator
Storing your cooked eggplant in a refrigerator is another option, but it is not as effective as using the freezer.
It is best that you cook only what you can consume so that you do not need to store the rest.
3. Lock It in an Airtight Container Immediately After Boiling
One effective way to extend the shelf life of your cooked eggplant is to seal it up as soon as you finish cooking it. Make sure that the container or bag you are using is clean and sterilized so that your eggplant can stay safe and edible for a long time.
Unless you really need to open the bag or container, please do not open it so that you do not expose your eggplants to microbes in the air.
What if your eggplant is still raw? Continue reading to know the best ways to store fresh eggplants.
The Best Way to Store Raw Eggplant
For raw or fresh eggplants, here are some good storage methods:
1. Leave It Exposed in a Dry and Dark Room
So long as the eggplant is still raw or fresh, it can stay for up to three days or more in a dark, dry room.
Make sure that the room is not too humid because fungi and other microbes grow faster in a humidity-rich environment. Also, make sure that the eggplant does not stay in a place with direct sunlight.
2. Store It in a Freezer
You can also keep your fresh eggplant in the freezer.
To extend the storage duration, you can keep the eggplant in a plastic bag or any airtight container. Note that it will go bad quickly as soon as you remove it from the freezer.
3. Keep It in a Refrigerator
You can also store your eggplants in a refrigerator. Note that if you have a dry and dark place to store it, you do not need a refrigerator.
In a fridge, your eggplants can last five days or more. To help them last longer in the fridge, please seal them in a bag so that they do not get wet quickly.
Now you can store your fresh or cooked eggplants with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got any extra questions? Here’s your answer:
1. For How Long Does an Eggplant Last?
For how long does raw eggplant last?
Well, raw eggplant can last for two to three days when you keep it in a room at room temperature and low humidity.
It can last for five days inside a refrigerator and eight to twelve months inside a freezer. The lower the temperature and humidity, the longer the raw eggplant will last.
For how long do cooked eggplants last? Cooked eggplants do not last for long, especially when you do not keep them in a freezer.
Your cooked eggplant from the freezer will last for just a few days, so you want to eat it quickly after cooking it.
2. Is It OK to Eat Eggplant That Is Brown Inside?
If you cut the eggplant and it is already brown, it means that it is already decaying, so you should dispose of it and not eat it.
However, if it only turns brown after you cut it, it is still safe to eat for a few hours. Aside from the color of the fruit inside, you can tell that the eggplant is bad with all the tips listed earlier in this article.
3. Is It OK to Eat Old Eggplant?
If by old eggplant you are referring to the number of days that you have kept the eggplant, eating it depends on whether it has gone bad or not.
When properly stored, eggplants can stay for months without going bad. Hence, such eggplants are edible. However, eggplants that you do not store properly will last for only a few days and will go bad.
Remember the tips listed above in this article to learn if your eggplant is bad or not. Have you found the answer to your questions?
Bad eggplants are easy to recognize, so you should sort them out first before eating so that you do not eat what will make you sick. Remember to store your eggplants properly so that they can last for a very long time.