How do you tell which eggplants are "male" when you're buying Japanese eggplants? Thanks so much. This recipe totally rocks, by the way. Best one, ever, as noted in the comments.
I know this is completely unhelpful, but I have no idea how you tell the difference. However, I have this recipes several time with questionably-sexed eggplants and it always works like a charm! So I don't worry too much about the gender of the produce :) Besides, it's the 21st century... equal opportunity!
AJ, this is the first time I hear about differentiating between male and female eggplants in culinary terms (although surely they differ botanically) so you got my interest. This is what I found out: Look at their navel. Male eggplant have oblong navels while females have round ones. At first I thought you were just talking about those with a "pinocchio nose" :) that you find now and then. Now I am wondering what's the ratio of the male to female ones a single plant normally bears. Will think about ways to possibly utilize them for different recipes. Thanks for bringing this up.
I never knew there were male and female eggplants this is fascinating and am very interested in finding out what the difference in taste is.
The only reason I mention it is that the author of the Eggplant Parmesan recipe says in the ingredients list to look for male, not female, ones. I always buy Japanese eggplants, so I was uncertain about how to determine which is which in that variety. ;o)
AJ -- I'm so glad you asked this question because I've never seen this recipe before and it looks fantastic! With the cooler weather, it sounds perfect. From your experience, do you think it could be assembled the evening before, and then baked for dinner the next night? Or would the eggplant get soggy? (And sorry, I don't have wisdom to share on male versus female eggplants!)
Amazing! I never knew there was any difference between male and female eggplants (or other veggies, for that matter)!
EmilyC, this recipe is one of the best on food52, and I have tried many dozens of food52 recipes. I made this shortly after my sons returned from Buenos Aires where, during their two month there, they had eaten extremely well (in part thanks to a kind food52 member there, FrancesRenHuang, who gave them great advice on the best places to eat and shop for food). They were both very impressed by this. Their standards are ridiculously high, and get higher the more they travel and the more they cook for themselves. Anyway, I'm not sure how this dish does when made ahead. Maybe you should post that question to the recipe, to reach the other commenters -- some may have tried it -- but also post a separate foodpickle here. I'm interested in the answer to that question, too! ;o)
Thanks, AJ! I will post a separate foodpickle. I have company coming next week, so I'd love to assemble it the night before if that's possible. Thanks for turning me on to this recipe...can't wait to try it!
There is no such thing as a sex of an egg plant, which is a fruit btw. They all come from a flower that has both male and female parts. (Stigma and stamen). They are self pollinating (have both parts in one flower unlike a squash that has male and female flowers where the squash come from the female only. Amount and size of seeds has to do with age and complete or incomplete pollination, which may account for the deformed (not round flower end. Males don't produce ANY seeds in nature