Purple eggplants are oval with a bulbous flat bottom that narrows towards the calyx and averages 25 centimeters in length and 5-12 centimeters in diameter. The outer skin is glossy, smooth, black-purple, and has a green stem. The inner flesh is cream colored with a spongy-firm texture and there many edible seeds. When cooked, Purple eggplants are tender and mild with a slightly bitter taste.
Purple eggplants are available year-round with a peak season in summer.
Purple eggplants are best suited for cooked applications such as grilling, pan frying, baking, broiling, sauteing, and roasting. They are popularly prepared by breading and frying and used as a meat substitute in pasta dishes, stir-fries, and burgers. They can also be slow cooked in stews and dishes with rice, meat, and vegetables. Purple eggplants pair well with tomatoes, squashes, peppers, stewed meats, grilled and baked fish, chicken, chickpeas, lentils, herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro, and parsley, as well as cheeses such as fresh cow’s milk and aged sheep’s cheese. Purple eggplants will keep up to three days when stored in a cool and dry place.