The reason for this is that aubergines have had the bitterness bred out of them and so it is now only occasionally you come across it. Having said that, I do still sometimes salt them. Because salted aubergines soak up less oil.
Another popular question is “Does salting an aubergine make it taste better?”.
But bitterness isn’t so much of an issue these days, because it’s been bred out over the years. Food geek supreme Harold Mc. Gee argues, in On Food and Cooking, that salting only alters our perception of the alkaloids in the aubergine, anyway: “The bulk of the cell fluids remains in the cells.”.
Another thing we asked ourselves was how do you make an aubergine taste better?
Larousse Gastronomique concurs: “Traditionally, the slightly bitter taste of the vegetable was minimised by sprinkling the sliced or cut-up flesh with salt and leaving it for 30 minutes to draw out the bitter juices. The aubergine was then rinsed and dried before cooking.
Why do you salt eggplant before cooking?
Salting causes the eggplant to absorb less oil when you cook it and the final result is a firmer bite (no soggy, floppy eggplant). So you may want to salt it for a tighter texture. Older globe eggplants can still taste bitter, too.
“I have rarely found an eggplant that is so bitter that it needs salting. I just cut it up, toss the pieces with olive oil, and start cooking.” she says. “The claim is reminiscent of a time when eggplants were more bitter. Today, eggplants are bred not to have that kind of bitterness,” Jenkins explains. She does call out one outlier though.
Why does an aubergine cook so long in the oven?
In the oven, the steam generated by the moisture inside the aubergine helps it cook a long time without drying out.” Rachel Roddy is a kindred spirit, but only after doing “lots and lots of testing for the Sicily book, where every other dish is flipping melanzane.
Are aubergines inedible?
Alan Davidson’s imperious Oxford Companion to Food, which took him 20 years to write, notes that Europeans once viewed aubergines as inedible, and grew them only as ornamental plants, but we soon saw the light after wrapping our chops around the likes of moussaka, melanzane alla parmigiana and ratatouille for the first time.
Are you supposed to be fussy with aubergines?
I think you don’t need to be quite as fussy when the aubergine is one of many ingredients, like mousakka. If you were making aubergine dip and the aubergine was slightly bitter it would be much more of a disaster.