Aubergines provide nutrients and add a distinctively smoky flavour to dishes around the world. Aubergines tend to spoil quickly, which compromises taste and nutritional value. Understanding the difference between a fresh and a spoiled aubergine can make or break a meal so look out for the signs that your aubergine has gone off.
Note the skin colour of the aubergine. The colour should be bright with a shine to the skin. A dull and faded skin can indicate that the vegetable has spoiled.
Look for a brightly coloured cap and stem on the aubergine. If the stem is not a bright and healthy green, the vegetable may not be fresh.
Check the aubergine for firmness. Gently press on the skin and look for any indentations that occur. If indentations remain in the skin, the vegetable is probably past its best.
Look for bruises, soft spots or signs of decay on the skin and stem. If trouble spots are present, the vegetable is no longer fresh and should not be cooked.
Pick up the aubergine and determine if it is dense for its size. Fresh aubergines have a heaviness to them, while spoiled items feel light.
Cut the aubergine open and look for healthy seeds and spongy meat. If the inside is discoloured, mushy, mouldy or has a strong bitter odour, it is spoiled and should be discarded.
Store aubergines in a plastic bag in the refrigerator's salad or vegetable compartment.
Do not wash or cut an aubergine before storing.