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  #1  
Old 14 June 2007, 06:42 PM
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Chef Cutting cucumbers

Comment: my wife says that when cutting a cucumber you must rub the two
cut ends together to take out the bitterness?
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  #2  
Old 14 June 2007, 06:47 PM
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I never heard of that, but my mother believed that if you didn't cut both ends off before peeling or slicing that the cucumber would taste bitter.
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Old 14 June 2007, 07:03 PM
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Naaa... just add milk to 'em.
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  #4  
Old 14 June 2007, 07:04 PM
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Cucumbers don't taste bitter. They don't have any flavor at all...they just taste like water.
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  #5  
Old 14 June 2007, 07:15 PM
lavender blue lavender blue is offline
 
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My mom told me to rub the cut ends together before slicing the rest, and I do it to this day. Even though I know that it's an old wives' tale.
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Old 14 June 2007, 08:50 PM
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I have noticed, that on some cucumbers (garden pickling variety) do get bitter if they're over-ripe/under-ripe, or of they get too cold or not enough water etc... but I have noticed that the rubbing the cut end DOES remove bitterness.
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Old 15 June 2007, 07:10 AM
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My mother believed that slicing a cucumber lengthwise would always result in a bitter taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Cucumbers don't taste bitter.
Just because you've never had a bitter one doesn't mean they don't exist.
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  #8  
Old 15 June 2007, 10:42 AM
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I have definitely eaten cucumbers with a bitter taste.
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  #9  
Old 15 June 2007, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Cucumbers don't taste bitter. They don't have any flavor at all...they just taste like water.
What???!!!. They have a vile taste and even the smell of them makes me sick. I can't even use a knife that has been used to cut a cucumber unless I wash it first. I can smell them from several feet away.
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  #10  
Old 15 June 2007, 09:09 PM
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I love cucumbers, but occasionally the skin is a bit bitter. I eat them anyway. There are pics of me as a cute lil' toddler, chewing on a cucumber with these toddler-sized bite marks all over it. I tortured the poor things. Yummy.
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  #11  
Old 15 June 2007, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
What???!!!. They have a vile taste and even the smell of them makes me sick. I can't even use a knife that has been used to cut a cucumber unless I wash it first. I can smell them from several feet away.
Smell, yes. They definitely have a strong odor. But for some reason I've never eaten a cucumber that had any flavor whatsoever. So I'll have to take other peoples' words for it that they can be bitter.
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  #12  
Old 15 June 2007, 11:07 PM
DaGuyWitBluGlasses DaGuyWitBluGlasses is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Smell, yes. They definitely have a strong odor. But for some reason I've never eaten a cucumber that had any flavor whatsoever. So I'll have to take other peoples' words for it that they can be bitter.
Odours are the flavour.

But before eating it you get used to the odour, so if there is no additional odours released by chewing, you might perceive it as being flavourless, as your nose hasn't detected any change.
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Old 16 June 2007, 09:36 AM
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So just theoretically, could the odour be changed by rubbing, thus influencing the taste experience for some people?
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  #14  
Old 16 June 2007, 02:06 PM
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When you grow cucumbers youe are supposed to remove the male buds before they flower (it is easy to tell male and female buds apart as the females have long stalks which become the cucumbers). This is because the seeds in fertilized cucumbers make them bitter. I presume 'modern' varieties are seedless.
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  #15  
Old 16 June 2007, 02:35 PM
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From Washington State University BITTERNESS IN CUCUMBERS
Quote:
Many home gardeners have had the experience of slicing a fresh, crisp, green cucumber only to find the flesh so bitter that it had to be discarded. Occasionally bitter cucumbers are purchased unknowingly. The problem of bitter cucumbers seems to be especially prevalent in certain years in some areas of the Pacific Northwest. Interestingly there appear to be some people who are unable to taste the bitter principle in cucurbits.
[snip]
Bitterness does not accumulate uniformly in the cucumber. The extent of bitter compounds will vary from fruit to fruit as well as within individual fruits. The compounds are likely to be more concentrated at the stem end than at the blossom end of the fruit. Bitterness, if present, is always found in and just under the skin of the cucumber and not deep in the fleshy portion or in the seed locules.
Other sources confirm that the bitterness is most likely to be found at the stem end, so cutting it off removes a lot of the bitterness. Rubbing the ends together doesn't do much except mash up the ends.
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  #16  
Old 16 June 2007, 07:51 PM
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I must be missing something here.

How is rubbing the ends of a cucumber together, after they have been removed from the cucumber, supposed to alter the flavor of the cucumber that they are no longer attached to?

For the record, I love the smell of cucumbers. I can't stand the taste. The best way for me to describe it? They kind of taste like soil, only more juicy. Blech.
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  #17  
Old 16 June 2007, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohn13 View Post
I must be missing something here.

How is rubbing the ends of a cucumber together, after they have been removed from the cucumber, supposed to alter the flavor of the cucumber that they are no longer attached to?

For the record, I love the smell of cucumbers. I can't stand the taste. The best way for me to describe it? They kind of taste like soil, only more juicy. Blech.
I was just going to ask that same question. I'm missing something.
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  #18  
Old 16 June 2007, 08:55 PM
DaGuyWitBluGlasses DaGuyWitBluGlasses is online now
 
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You then rub it against the cut end to suck out the white gunky bitter substance.
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  #19  
Old 16 June 2007, 08:59 PM
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The initial comment

Quote:
my wife says that when cutting a cucumber you must rub the two cut ends together
left me scratching my head much like bjohn13 and FloridaGirl. Eventually I decided that people must be talking about rubbing the cut end against the rest of the cucumber. It's not something I've ever heard of, though.
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  #20  
Old 20 June 2007, 02:00 PM
ammberlea412 ammberlea412 is offline
 
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Several months ago, I was making a salad and my husband asked why I was rubbing the cut end of the cucumber with the part I had just cut off. I didn't realize I was even doing it at the time, but remembered my mother always did it. I had to call to ask her why, and apparently my grandmother swore by that removing the bitterness, and my mom was afraid that if she didn't do it, she'd have horrible cucumbers. I don't know if it's regional, but my grandmother is from the New England area.
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