A group of different eggplant varieties. From Left: Italian, Regular / Classic, Chinese, Indian (also known as baby eggplant - center).

Eggplant is available to U.S. consumers in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They can be as small and round as an egg, long and thin like a zucchini, or large and oblong in shape.  Their skinís color can vary from white to green, to a deep blackish purple.  The larger purple varieties are the most common.

The most predominantly consumed eggplant in the U.S. is a very deep purple, almost black.  It is large and oblong in shape, with very smooth skin and a green calyx.   It is commonly referred to as the regular or classic eggplant, but the actual variety names may differ as there are more than one.

Amongst the more popular varieties in the United States are the following, which are available year round:

Regular/Classic Varieties: 

The most common variety group in the U.S.  Among the most familiar are Black Magic, Black Beauty and Black Bell varieties.  They have smooth skin in a very deep purple hue, and a large and elongated oval shape with a green calyx.

 

Sicilian:

This variety is slightly smaller with a wider base and purple skin streaked with white. It is sometimes referred to as "Zebra" or "Graffiti" eggplant.
 

Italian:

A deep shade of mauve-purple with some light streaking on the skin.  It is smaller and more oval in shape than the regular / classic varieties.  Italian eggplants also have a green calyx.

White Varieties: 

These varieties are smooth and white.  They can be round or slightly thinner and longer, like their Italian counterparts. Some popular commercial varieties include albino and white beauty.


Indian (Baby):

This variety is small, normally just a few inches long.  It is round and shaped like an egg, with smooth, dark purple skin and a green calyx.


Japanese:

Small and longer in shape with smooth, light purple skin and a dark, purple calyx.


Chinese:

Longer and more cylindrical in shape, with smooth purple calyx and skin.