Aubergine, bridal, garden egg, guinea squash and melongene—all are eggplant by other names. Egg-like in shape and commonly vibrant purple, they come in a multitude of shapes and colors — from small and oblong to long and skinny, and purple, white, and green.
When buying this rich meaty vegetable, look for eggplants with smooth, shiny skin whose color is uniform. Their weight should be heavy for their size. For a sweeter, less bitter eggplant, choose smaller eggplants with thin skin. Ripe eggplants will not have much give when pushed with your finger—it should be firm but not hard.
Once you get it home, store it in the fridge. It can stay there for a few days before you make any one of the recipes below.