It was a hot afternoon and a crisp, refreshing, satisfying veggie treat was in store – so you head out to the garden, twist off those fresh cucumbers, rinse it off, cut and dig into your fresh cucumber chips…only to have a bitter taste.
You are disappointed and frustrated after spending so much time (and some money in watering, etc.) to grow your own fresh cucumbers only to have them taste bitter?
What did you do wrong? Well, most cucumbers will have a naturally bitter taste. But that taste can be brought out more by a few factors, including some when growing.
However, here are four key things you can do at harvest and prep time to help reduce the bitter taste and often eliminate the bitterness.
- Picking the cucumber at the prime time. You don’t want exceptionally large cucumbers. They will taste bitter. The prime time to pick is during the 50th-70th day, immediately after the flower on the end drops. This is the best tasting time!
- When it is time to pick the cucumber, do not twist it off. Cut or snap the cucumber off the vine for prime taste.
- Cut about 1 inch off the stem end of the cucumber and rub the end in a circular motion to the main part of the cucumber until it is foamy.
- Finally, the skin does have a bitter taste and this can be reduced by peeling the cucumber, but if you like the skin, the above three steps will reduce overall bitterness enough to enjoy the skin as well.
There you have it! Now you can run outside, grab that beautiful, crisp cucumber and enjoy a healthy snack without the bitter taste.
And if you buy cucumbers in the store – steps #3 and #4 will still help quite a bit!
Have you tried these tips before? What else have you done to reduce bitterness?