Aversion to cucumber and melon?

I have a food quirk that other people always find odd, which is that I’m completely unable to tolerate the taste of cucumber or any sort of melon.

I’m told that cucumbers taste of nothing, and that melons are sweet. But for me…well it’s hard to describe, the best way I can explain is that they just taste like poison to me. Incredibly bitter, and my body does not want me to swallow it.

The single worst thing I have ever eaten is watermelon. I tried it once, it tasted horrible, and I told myself, “Ok, just swallow it and have a drink to wash away the taste.” But the “poison” instinct was so strong, I physically couldn’t swallow it, and I was in tears by the time I spat it out. And this is as an adult, not a child.

I’ve never known anyone else have this problem, particularly my family, who all seem to be keen on melon. But by Googling I’ve found a few mentions of other people who can’t stand cucumber and melon.

I’m wondering whether there is some sort of scientific explanation behind this? I presume that cucumbers and melons are related in some way; do they contain some sort of bitter chemical that most people can’t taste?

Am I just crazy?

I don’t know how they’re related, but I can’t stand cucumbers or any type of melon either. Cantaloupes are my worst. Any scent of cantaloupe ruins a nice meal for me. Interestingly, I don’t mind pickles (as long as they’re pickled enough).

Perhaps you are a supertaster. There is certainly some bitterness in watermelon, although for most people it is not enough to make it unpleasant. Maybe it is stronger for you, though. (Supertasters may only experience certain tastes more intensely, not necessarily all of them.)

I love the taste of cantaloupe, but I have some sort of allergy to it. If I eat more than one or two small pieces, my throat starts to itch unpleasantly. Some other types of melon do the same with less intensity.

I don’t like cucumber either.

You may be a supertasterof some compound that is common between them. Many fruits and vegetables have various compounds that attempt to keep insects, bacteria, and mammals from eating them in various ways. Abitter taste is one common way to be unpalatable. Studies have shown people have different levels of ability to detect some of these compounds. My wild guess is that it’s something like PROP tasting with a compound that is cucumber and melon (maybe even PROP).

I don’t like cucumbers or melons, either, and although I know about supertasters, I still thought I might be a freak. I do like watermelons okay, though, as long as they’re very ripe, I don’t eat too close to the rind, and they’re salted.

I think watermelon and cucumber taste extremely similar and extremely awful, but I’m the opposite of a supertaster. I’m a… hypotaster or something.

One time I was walking in a desert area in the Canary Islands, and saw what looked like a little collection of tennis balls sitting there in the middle of the desert. I walked over and it turned out they were some kind of small melons. I cut one open and ate a piece.

It was the most bitter thing I have ever put in my mouth. It tasted so appalling, I was still suffering from the taste an hour later, even after trying to wash away the taste with water.

This makes me think that our food crop melons may be descended from a very bitter wild relative, and that over many generations the bitterness has been bred out of them to make them palatable. But some bitter compound remains that not everyone can taste, but you can.

That’s my speculation on the subject.

I wouldn’t say I “can’t stand” them, but I am not fond of either. Don’t get the “poison” effect, though.

Cucumber I will eat if it’s hidden in sushi in those tiny matchsticks. But I will remove cucumber slices from salads.

I’ve eaten watermelon in the past, but these days I just pass. I could eat honeydew melon or cantaloupe if it were absolutely required (served to me by somebody’s sweet old granny, or I was starving to death), but it’s a big reason why I rarely order fruit salad in a restaurant, because it’s ALWAYS mostly melon. Bleh.

Mr. S also dislikes cucumber, but loves melon of any kind.

ETA: I adore dill pickles, though, especially really tiny baby dills. Don’t like sweet pickles, though.

I’m with you on cucumbers, but I really posted to address a related issue. As you mentioned in the OP, a common response is that they taste of nothing. To which I reply that if they taste of nothing why do you eat them? If someone claims to like something, they can’t really then claim that they taste of nothing, otherwise there’s nothing to “like.”

Similarly, lots of people say celery tastes of nothing too. Not me, I love celery. My wife, on the other hand, hates it. Neither of us will claim that it doesn’t have a taste.

I can’t stand cucumber - if we are making a salad I’ll cut cucumber for my family but it has to be cut last so that the knife/chopping board does not contaminate anything else. I do like melon and watermelon, though.


A big :dubious: to those who think cucumbers taste like nothing. They have sweet, vegetal, and bitter notes, and that’s just going by memory. Their flavor may be relatively more bland than various other foods, but there are flavors there.

I cannot stand certain members of the cabbage family. Plain ol’ green cabbage is fine, but broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts, among others, are so bitter I can’t stand them. My mother tried once grating broccoli and mixing it in with macaroni and cheese, telling me it was parsley (which I like, although oddly enough that tastes somewhat bitter as well). I could tell from the first forkful that it wasn’t parsley. I’ve since been told that there are certain chemicals in cabbages that most people can’t taste or can barely notice, but that some of us find intensely bitter. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones… as the OP perhaps is with gourds.

My sons both agree that cucumbers taste somewhat bitter, by the way. But one of them loves that and will eat raw cucumbers by the bucket, while the other avoids them. The cucumber lover, on the other hand, doesn’t do pickles except maybe bread-and-butter pickles and will pick them off his burger, while the cucumber skeptic loves pickles, the more sour the better. I wonder if it isn’t just a difference in how we taste, but in how much of the basic tastes like sour and bitter and sweet we find pleasant before it becomes off-putting.

They seem to lose this flavor when cooked, though. I could barely distinguish them from squash, and that was only because it was missing certain squash-like flavors, not because it tasted like a (raw) cucumber.

That’s funny! I’m EXACTLY the same way! Can’t stand cucumbers or any type of melon, but like pickles (and I can’t stand vinegar, either!)

I’ve never been able to detect the “bitterness” that some people complain about in broccoli, brussels sprouts etc. They just taste “vegetably” to me, with a slight hint of sulphorousness.

I don’t like melon though, but not because of any hint of bitterness - quite the reverse, I find it cloyingly sweet and unpleasant. Cucumber, I can take or leave - it has such a faint taste as to be totally inoffensive. I don’t like really thin slices of it though, as they have no crunch at all.

I think it’s fair to say I’m not a supertaster! One food I do find physically unpleasant to eat, though, which nobody else seems to, is raspberries. I find them super acidic, even ripe ones that everyone else finds beautifully sweet, and they set my teeth on edge and make my eyes water. Which is odd, as I love pickled onions and other acidic foods…

Who the hell cooks cucumber? What recipes call for cucumber as an ingredient for cooking? Other than brining and turning them into pickles, I can’t think of anything that calls for cooking of a cucumber.

I’m sure someone will come along and say: _____________; and I’ll be all :smack:.

ETA: my definition of cooking here means applying heat. I know there are numerous dishes that include raw cucumbers.

Latex allergy is associated with sensitivity to foods: HIGH - bananas, chestnuts, avocados; MODERATE: apple, carrot, celery, tomato, kiwi, papaya, potato, melon. Others are low or undetermined. Reference: Greer Laboratories, Inc. TM Allergy Update, Fall 1995.

Ragweed allergies: Symptoms may be triggered when eating a banana, cucumber, melon (watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe), zucchini, sunflower seeds, or drinking chamomile tea or taking echinacea. Reference: Dr. Rob Danoff D.O., M.S.

I don’t particulary like melon: it has little taste to me, but I don’t mind it. As others have said, I can’t stand cucumber. Even the smell of it when someone else has it in a sandwich near me I find unpleasant.

For the texture and refreshingly cool pop. For a similar reason I like water chestnuts – they don’t register much but they’re fun to crunch and chew.

You wouldn’t say that if you’d tasted my penne with bacon and cucumbers, which invariably garners raves. Cucumbers absorb the taste of whatever they’re with–in that case, the bacon and seasonings in my recipe, but more usually the salad dressing or pickling brine.

To the OP, do you react this way to cukes when they are skinned? The skin is where most of the bitterness is.