Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Remove the Bitter from Your Cucumbers


Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? 
You prepare and plan and plant and water and hoe and weed and pray. Then, what sort of harvest do you have? I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that my family would probably starve to death if we had to live by our garden, but we toil away year after year anyway.  Our home is built on what used to be a farm field, and we wonder if the soil is just worn out. At least, that’s our reasoning. J But I digress.

Have you ever painstakingly striped, sliced, and arranged your garden cucumbers onto a pretty dish just to bite into one and grimace at the bitter taste? Have you ever thrown any away?


 (I know, it sounds a bit like a Ginsu knife commercial. But I think you’ll like the result, so stick with me.)

My husband learned this simple trick from his Japanese aunt.

  1. Cut off the tip of the cucumber. Just one end right now.
  2. Rub the tip vigorously in a circular motion against the end of the cucumber. A slick white substance should froth up. Taste it, if you dare. You’ll see how bitter it is. Blech! The more bitter the cucumber, the more it will froth.
  3. Rinse the white froth off and throw away the tip.
  4. Repeat on the other end.

See? Simple.

This also works on store-bought cucumbers, but it doesn’t make them taste like home-grown!

Now, do you need a good recipe for those delicious cucumbers? Next week I’ll post a recipe for a salad with zing.












How is your garden producing? Are your cucumbers ever bitter? Did you know about this little trick already?




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29 comments:

  1. No way! It's that simple? I have thrown away countless cucumbers because of bitter. I can't wait to try it! Visiting from Be Not Weary and glad I did :)

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    1. It works for us, Lori. I'd love to know how it works for you. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. This doesn't work. It only produces the frothy substance, it doesn't pull the frothy substance out of the entire cucumber. The only way to have non-bitter cucumbers is for gardeners/farmers to grow them with lots and lots of water. If there hasn't been lots of watering, the cucumber will be bitter. Pure and simple.

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    1. It's true that some cucumbers are too bitter for this to do much good. I'm sorry this hasn't worked for you, but I've tasted ours before and after the rubbing, and it always has made the cucumber better.

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  3. I found this through the Southern Lovely Link Party and am SO glad I did! I have thrown away so many cucumbers because of this, now I'll have to try this trick out! Thanks!!

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    1. Hope it works well for you, Sarah. So glad you stopped by!

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  4. I so wish I had known this last week when we were given a bunch of bitter cucumbers. My FAVORITE dish in the summer (besides fresh salsa) is cucumbers and onions!

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    1. If you like cucumbers and onions, be sure to stop by next week for my recipe! Thanks for commenting, Cheryl.

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  5. WHAT?! That is crazy. I will definitely have to remember that for the future - I always have cucumbers at home! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hope it works well for you, Liz, and thanks for stopping by!

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  6. That simple, huh! Will try this for sure.

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    1. One thing I forgot to mention was that the amount of froth depends on how bitter the cucumber is. Some cucumbers won't froth up very much and others froth a lot. Hope it works well for you, and so glad you stopped in!

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  7. What a GREAT tip! Thank you ever so much. Found you through Jamerrill's blog link up. Bless you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Lisa. Hope to see you again, and enjoy your cucumbers!

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  8. Never heard of that! Amazing. Those cucumbers look great. Our's are a little sad. They look like little fat pickles. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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    1. I will try to hang them next time. That is a great idea since we don't have a lot of space! Featuring you this week!

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  9. We always have some that bloat up big and yellow. No amount of rubbing will make those taste good! Unfortunately, I don't have many tips for growing them! My husband is reminding me that cucumbers like to hang, rather than lay on the ground. Is there some way you could get the vines to climb on a fence or trellis? Good luck, and thanks for commenting!

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  10. My mom showed me this trick a long time ago. It works for me, but we've never had really bitter or home grown cucumbers before, so not sure about that. We love cucumbers and tomatoes in greek dressing/feta cheese.

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    1. I wish we could grow such good cucumbers that we didn't need this trick. Your greek dressing/feta cheese sounds delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

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  11. I only had to rub both ends of the cucumber with the sliced end of the cucumber. I've never had to wait until the froth came out. My mother showed me this trick when I used to help her in the kitchen when I was a young teenager.

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    1. I've found that the cucumbers that are already pretty good don't produce much froth. And no amount of rubbing will help the ones that are really, really bitter! So glad you stopped by, and enjoy your cucumbers.

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  12. Wow this is an awesome tip! I usually just power through the gross ones, because I just spent all that time cutting them up and I hate to throw them away and have to find another veggie to eat.

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    1. It's hard to throw away any food! Hope it works for you, Rachel. It may not make the really gross ones wonderful, but it may make them more tolerable, especially with a dip. :)

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  13. This totally worked! The entire cucumber it's bitter at all! Now I can make more than pickles with my garden-grown cucs! Thanks!

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  14. I just tried it and it worked beautifully!!!! Peeling and all the cucumber was delicious!

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