Forget milking cucumbers food trend, try this cucumber hack instead

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) /

Sometimes food trends are genius and other are perplexing. Milking cucumbers is apparently the newest TikTok food trend, but what about trying this cucumber hack instead?

While whipped coffee and pancake cereal taken over the kitchen, milking cucumbers is the most recent food trend that has many people obsessed. Although no one could have predicted that TikTok would take over the food world, it has. Now vegetables are being milked and it has many people wondering – why?

If you haven’t heard of milking cucumbers, it will probably pop up in your feed very soon. The concept is relatively simple. An end of a cucumber is vigorously rubbed on the cut end of a cucumber. After a period of time, a white, milky substance comes out of the cucumber.

While this concept might seem unusual, the method is meant to reduce the bitterness in a cucumber. Although the bitterness usually comes from the skin, the friction helps to reduce the bitter flavors that some people do not like.

Cucumbers contain cucurbitacins, which often cause the bitterness in its flavor. While the cucurbitacins are more prevalent in the stems, it can happen throughout the skin and the cucumber. It is created as a defense mechanism as it grows to help ward off fungus and other issues while the cucumbers grow.

The varying levels of bitterness depend on where and how the cucumbers are grown. Just like any produce, the hows and whys of growing impact the flavor.

While the TikTok video of “milking” makes for a fun video, another method to remove the cucumber’s bitterness has been around for a long time. Instead of all the rubbing, simply sprinkle some salt on the cucumber halves and rub a little. Some milky substance will come out. Then, wash the cucumbers before eating them. The cucumbers will taste less bitter.

Many cooks understand that salt can remove moisture from a food. It is the reason why you do not put salt into cooking mushrooms until they are almost cooked. You do not want all the moisture to be lost.

Although many people will happily try to milk their cucumbers to be part of the newest TikTok food fad, it might be time to think about where your cucumbers come from? Maybe those local cucumbers from the farmers market could be a little less bitter and a lot more flavorful. Knowing your farmer does make a difference in the food and its flavor.

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Have you tried milking cucumbers? What do you think of this latest TikTok food trend?