Japanese eggplants are different from American ones. Japanese ones are long and lean (interestingly the same concept is not applicable to comparing all vegetable between the States and Japan. For example, Japanese carrots are fatter than American ones). Anyway, there’s a special type of Japanese eggplant called water eggplant. It’s originally from Western Japan, from Osaka, but is produced across the country, however only during the summer. So it’s in season now!
This picture shows wedges of Japanese water eggplant. They are more similar to American eggplant that they are fatter, however not necessarily bigger. With its fatter size, it gets less alkaline content that produces a bitter taste. Thus, raw ones taste good. Japanese people like to pickle them. They are super juicy.
But at this Italian restaurant called La Befana, they served it Italian with garlic, salt, and olive oil. The finely chopped garlic bits were really good and went well with the eggplant.