Lots of people I speak to don’t like aubergine and I think that’s because we’ve all tasted hard/spongey, undercooked aubergine at some point, with the texture of a wet loofah.
Aubergine needs to be cooked really well, good Sicilian Caponata, Aubergine Tempura or my friend Yuki’s incredible dish of Aubergine and black sesame, should, when cooked well, just melt in the mouth.
Recipes often used to ask you to salt aubergines before cooking them which usually means, slicing or chopping the aubergines, then layering up in a colander sprinkled with salt to leave for anything from 30 minutes to an hour or two. This lets the aubergine seep out any bitter juices, but I really don’t think you need to salt aubergines now, well at least not the commercially grown one’s we get in the supermarkets as they don’t seem to be bitter, but I’m sure varieties will differ. Would be interesting to know.