It's said that cutting off the end of a cucumber and rubbing it at the incision makes the cucumber less bitter. It would be very surprising to me if rubbing just one end of the cucumber could alter the taste of the entire vegetable—is there any evidence of this?

For example, this website states that you can remove bitterness by rubbing the ends of a cucumber.

Lifehacker states:

Cucumbers are a healthy snack, but they often have a bitter taste. You can get rid of this bitterness by thinly slicing off both ends and rubbing one piece against the cucumber.


1 Answer 1


Probably not

this link explains the source of bitterness and how it is distributed in a cucumber:

A natural organic compound called cucurbitacin is the culprit, according to Oregon State University vegetable breeder Jim Myers.

The bitter compound is likely to be more concentrated in the stem end than in the blossom end of the cucumber. It is also more prevalent in the peel and in the light green area just beneath the peel – and less likely to be found in the deeper interior of the fruit.

and then suggest peeling and cutting the edges, using a clean knife- no rubbing is needed.

The rubbing myth probably comes from the cucumbers foaming when rubbed, which might have led to doing a false 1+1- removing the ends of the cucumber is enough, you don't need to rub it.


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