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In the past I've had eggplant in my garden but my parents had always taken care of harvesting them since I don't eat it. This year I'm growing a couple for them and have some fairly large fruit on the plants. The problem though is they look the same now as when they first came out on the plants. How do you tell when an eggplant is ripe and ready to be picked? The variety I'm growing is Listada de Gandia if it helps.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Usual way of testing for ripe eggplant is to try to dent it with the end of your thumb. If it gives way with as much pressure as you would dint a tomato then it's ready. I've grown that variety, very nice flesh and no bitterness. The white streaks will also go a bit off white. I can't locate my flickr page, which has a nice photo of those eggplants just about ready.

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Picked the first of these over the weekend and you're right on the flavor. I've never liked eggplant but these just might convert me. – Brian Surowiec Aug 27 '12 at 18:23

I usually go by size when picking eggplant. Once the fruit gets to be about the size it is supposed to be and still has lovely shiny skin, I pick it. I see your variety is supposed to get to 7" long. It won't hurt to pick them a little early - they'll still be good to use - so if it is somewhere in the 5-7 inch range, I'd go ahead and pick it and try it. You'll know you've waited too long when the skin becomes dull.

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I was going to mention that is should sound and feel "right" when you thump it. But now that I think about it, that pretty much correlates to the size. – uncle brad Aug 23 '12 at 14:18

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