2017 has been strange year for a big list of reasons, but I’ve noticed more than anything else that fruits and vegetables are unseasonably early and inexpensive. Most recently, I’ve noticed a flood of beautiful and inexpensive eggplant.

Because there’s more than one kind of eggplant for the infinite number of applications and preparations, globe to graffiti, Bon Appetit has a quick guide of what to look for in your produce section.

If you’ve ever wondered why some eggplants have larger seeds or are more bitter than others, it’s likely that you’ve picked up a female eggplant. Male eggplants, as noted by What’s Cooking America, have smaller seeds and are typically less bitter than their counterparts. Males fruits are identifiable by their round blossom ends, and females have a more rectangular shape.


So if your parmesan, baba ghanoush, or ratatouille is a bit off.. stop and think about the plants you bought. My own research has found that male plants are less available than the female at the big grocery stores. Check out local farms and farmers markets for not only fresher, younger plants.. but a better shot at getting what you’re looking for.