The skin of eggplants can generally be eaten, although larger eggplants can have tougher skins that may not be flavorful. Thicker skin should be peeled before cooking.
Eggplant is a vegetable belonging to the nightshade family and is closely related to potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers. Eggplant skin is a deep purple color and glossy, while the flesh is spongy and cream-colored. The vegetable contains seeds arranged in a conical pattern. It originated in India and was first farmed in China before being introduced to Africa and Italy. From there, it spread through Europe and the Middle East and was eventually brought to the Western Hemisphere by European explorers.