Bitter substances in cucumbers: Generously cut off the stem

Bitter substances in cucumbers: Generously cut off the stem

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Cut the stalk of cucumbers generously
Especially in summer, cucumbers are a welcome refreshment due to their high water content. The healthy vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. Cucumbers are best eaten with their skins, but the stalk should be cut off generously. Because this is where bitter substances form first. These can harm your health.

Delicious cucumbers in the salad or soup
There are currently many fresh cucumbers from the region on supermarket shelves. The delicious vegetables consist of around 95 percent water and are therefore very low in calories. At the same time, it is rich in vitamins, especially from the B group, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. Cucumbers in a salad or pure as a raw food snack are popular. But they are also suitable as an ingredient for cold soups on hot days. If a cucumber tastes bitter, you should spit it out again. The substances that cause this taste can harm your health.

Bitter substances can harm your health
As the Thuringia consumer center explains in a statement, cucumbers such as pumpkins, zucchini and melons are among the gourd family, which is typical for naturally forming bitter substances, the so-called cucurbitacins. These cause a very bitter taste that can be tasted very well. Cucurbitacins are toxins that are usually only present in low concentrations. If consumed too much, however, the bitter substances can lead to gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Deadly poisoning
However, in very rare cases, poisoning can be fatal. Last year, for example, a 79-year-old man from Baden-Württemberg was reported to have died from his garden after eating a dish with zucchini. Health experts warned the public at the time and informed how to identify potentially deadly bitter substances.

Cut the stem end generously
According to consumer advocates from Thuringia, cucumbers first form bitter substances in the stem. The following therefore applies to the preparation: "The end of the stalk of the cucumber tastes slightly bitter if it is cut off generously".

So that the bitter substances do not spread over the entire cucumber, one should work towards the stem when peeling. Basically, a food that tastes bitter and alien should better be spit out. "If you can't taste bitter things, you should ask someone else to try them for you," write the experts at the consumer advice center. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: How to Remove Bitterness From Cucumber cucurbitacins (June 2022).


  1. Migor

    As is curious. :)

  2. Wickley

    Yes indeed. It happens.

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