Solving the Bitter Cucumber Problem

By on July 18, 2013

That blossom end of the cucumber? Not a bitterness problem.

Cut that bitterness right out of the cucumber

*  Blossom ends are the least  bitter part of the cucumber. Oregon State University Extension says cucurbitacin is the source of the bitter taste, and is concentrated in the stem end. OSU suggests peeling from blossom to stem end. Others recommend cutting 2” off the stem end. Bitterness should be gone.

Tip: It’s the opposite when preparing pickles. Click here to find out why pickles should have the blossom end cut off.

*  A French cook swears by her salting technique to remove any bitterness. She cuts the cucumber in half lengthwise, salts the center section, and turns the halves upside down to drain. After an hour she takes the tip of a spoon and runs it the length of each half, removing both the seeds and the bitterness. How do we know this cook? She’s the mother of our company president!

Cucumbers without the bitterness gene

Our cucumber Marketmore 76, developed at Cornell University, does not have the gene that creates bitterness.

For more information on all things cucumbery—watch our videos on Growing Cucumbers and How to Make Dill Pickles—and read the many cucumber articles that are linked at those spots.

  Comments (3)


Try Armenian Cucumbers; much less bitter

Posted by Rossasaurus on Jul. 22, 2017 at 1:50:58 PM

Rossasaurus, I agree that Armenian cucumbers are not bitter at all and are great fresh eating cucumbers. You should also try the Muncher, it is a great fresh eating cucumber as well.

Posted by Suzanne at on Jul. 28, 2017 at 10:44:58 AM


When I used hydrated lime my cukes were bitter. A farmer @ our local farmers market told me to switch to ground oyster shells and my cukes are now sweet!

Posted by Adam Laks on Apr. 19, 2018 at 6:41:13 PM

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