Is it possible to de-seed big fat eggplants? I usually buy the skinny ones, but was given a couple fatties recently. Cooked 'em up my usual way, but the seeds overpower the loveliness of the eggplant, and now I'm sad.



betteirene November 29, 2010
I love the U of I cooperative extension service--I go to them often for my gardening (and canning) questions, including this one. I heard the male/female eggplant thing a long time ago, way before computers, when, if you had a question about something, you had to pay humungous long distance charges to call an expert, travel to your library's reference department or compose a handwritten letter and send it by snail mail.

I wrote them, received a phone call a few days later, then received a "how to grow eggplant" fact sheet a few days after that. What it boils down to is this: Eggplant, like its cousin the tomato, is technically a fruit. It's a self-pollinator, meaning that it has both the male and female organs on the same flower. Incomplete pollination is one cause of fewer seeds in a fruit (pollinatus interruptus?). Immaturity is another--the younger the fruit, the seeds are smaller, softer and less noticeable.

Basically, the flowers have sex but give birth to fruit that is is sexless.

If you really want to look into the genes of the eggplant display the next time you go shopping, this is what you're looking for: "male" eggplants are said to have a round indentation and "female" eggplants show a more linear, oval, indentation on its blossom end. If you find both kinds of indentations, buy one of each--make sure they have the same girth--and see if one has more seeds than the other.
nutcakes November 29, 2010
from Univ of Ill Extension:
There is long-standing controversy about male and female eggplants, which is an inaccurate approach considering the fact that fruits are the product of sex and do not have it. However, it is folk wisdom worth some attention. Eggplants have a dimple at the blossom end. The dimple can be very round or oval in shape. The round ones seem to have more seeds and tend to be less meaty, so select the oval dimpled

More important, I think, is to pick young glossy eggplants, the seeds seem to be more prominent in older eggplants without firm flesh. I feel for you trying to cut those seed clumps out of a roasted eggplant. Been there, done that. Not going to buy a reduced package again.
mrslarkin November 29, 2010
Ha! Who new grocery shopping could be so much fun? Thx 4 recipe link, campagnes.
campagnes November 29, 2010
tee hee!
TiggyBee November 29, 2010
(You've got eggplant) : )
campagnes November 29, 2010
"Don't cry, .Shopgirl." (name that movie) :)

I don't have much advice about seeding eggplants, but this is one of my favorite eggplant recipes:

I usually add all kinds of veggies (and double the garlic!) to the mix before roasting them - it's a great "clean out the fridge" recipe.
aargersi November 29, 2010
Mrs L I saw that on something - maybe Alton Brown? - a couple years ago so now I am all TSA on my eggplants before I buy them :-)
Nora November 29, 2010
I think that the seeds would be more objectionable in some recipes than in others. But I'm a fan of the smaller eggplants, too.
TiggyBee November 29, 2010
hahahaha! After a long trip home, I'm laughing pretty hard at the thought of the male eggplant. Who knew??
mrslarkin November 29, 2010
Thanks, guys. I will try those techniques.

aargersi, thanks for the yummy recipe link! Interesting...Nancy Jo mentions using male eggplants which "have fewer seeds and have a rounder, smoother bottom" I'll have to do an eggplant inspection next time I'm at the market and see if I can pick out the males.
aargersi November 29, 2010
Don't be sad Mrs L! Cut them in half and scoop those seeds out! I just got some fat seedy ones too, but by the time I pamesaned them it didn't matter :
ShieldCook7 November 29, 2010
You might try cutting lengthwise in quarters, and using a small melon-baller
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