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MissouriFamilies.org - Food Safety

 

Quick Answers

 

 

What caused my pickles to taste bitter?


There are several possibilities: 
 

- Growing conditions 
 

- Variety: some varieties are more bitter than others. Use a variety specifically for pickling. 
 

- The short soak in a salt brine, called for in many recipes, will help draw out bitter juices. 
 

- The bitter taste is usually more concentrated at the stem end of the fruit rather than the blossom end and in the skin or directly beneath the skin, not in the fleshy area around the seeds. Taste a small portion of the stem end before preparing cucumbers. If bitterness is present it can often be removed by cutting a larger portion off the stem end and by peeling more deeply than usual. Although peeled cucumbers could not be used to make pickles, they could be chopped and used to prepare relish. 
 

- Use of a salt substitute for pickling could also cause bitterness. Use only canning or pickling salt.

 

 

 

Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

 

 


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