Cucumber rubbing--how common is it?

My grandma in Arizona cuts off the end of a cucumber and then rubs the two cut pieces together to “remove the bitterness.” I saw an Afrikaans woman in Bloemfontein, South Africa do the same. Although I’ve never done a scientific test, I can’t believe this practice does any good toward removing bitterness, but I am curious about just how widespread this “folk habit” is.

Brace yourself.

Anyone else read this topic and have their thoughts move towards Satan and his potentially brand new happiest place on earth?

Here in frog land we always eat our porridge, because it keeps us frogs real peaceful-like.

Alas, I fear you’re correct. I’m afraid that darker minds may misinterpret my question and give answers that don’t speak to the same subject as my inquiry. I am braced.

All of you can suck my cucumber.

And I don’t care if it’s bitter!


Yer pal,

“All of you can suck my cucumber.
And I don’t care if it’s bitter!”

Dang, Satan, You posted in the wrong thread!

Nickrz, please move this to the “Prison” thread. :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

Uh, since when are cucumbers bitter?

It’s been my experience that if you first slice a cucumber lengthwise, it tastes horribly bitter. I don’t know why, though.

In re the OP, I don’t think anyone in my extended family got into that, but, as a kid in the '40s, I think it was a girlfriend of an uncle of mine, from Oklahoma, who considered what was just under the skin of a cucumber poisonous enough to be a hazard, and that rubbing the two pieces from a transverse cut together would remove this hazard. People who don’t like that layer, and generally most people, peel a cuke’s skin and that layer away before serving it. I don’t much like cukes, period, but sometimes I’ll eat them to be polite.

Ray (not kewl as a kewk)

My father’s mother was from Sicily, and she taught MY mother to cut one end off a cuke, sprinkle salt on the cut end, and rub cut pieces together. She claimed that this was “to take off the evil eye.” I have no idea what sort of evil eye a cuke might have had on it.

Apparently, this practice diminishes the gassy effects cukes have on some people, or so they claim. I’ve never noticed any difference.

Lynn the Packrat

Actually, the gassiest part of a Cuke is the skin itself. Remove it and no gas! I have no idea if rubbing cut ends together would change the flavor. In some parts of the middle east, they offer peeled Cukes on the street, which some Americans have said are more refreshing than a cup of water and are used to quench ones thirst.


I’ve heard that cucumbers actually not gassy–that you belch as the result of swallowed air, regardless of what you’re eating, while very few foods actually “produce” gas (like carbonated beverages).

However, what causes the taste of cucumbers to stay around is the wax seal around them. That is actually what you’re tasting.

“Burpless” cucumbers that are sold in stores do not have a wax seal, but are wrapped up in something else. You’d belch the same amount either way, but you wouldn’t be tasting the wax with the “burpless” kind.

I have not heard any of this independently verified. I heard a cook on a cooking program say this, so if these are also popular myths–that’s my source.

Yup. Everywhere in India, specially in the north, all cucumbers are sliced in one end, the pieces are rubbed (horizontally) ‘to get the bitterness’ out. The small piece is then discarded. Interesting, I didn’t think this practise was so widespread. BTW, they make great sandwitches…