The Bitter Cucumber Trick + Vinegar Cucumbers

local cucumbers

Have you ever bitten into a gorgeous fresh cucumber only to find it’s bitter?

I hate that.

BUT I have the trick for that. A few years ago Marisol from Alvarez Farms told us about this trick. I don’t know how it works but it does! It looks silly and it doesn’t make sense but as long as I’ve done the trick, I don’t get surprised by bitter cukes.

It really is the difference in throwing a cucumber out - people need to know about this!

I have tried to explain it on the Local Pumpkin flyer, maybe you understood my strange instructions, but I’ve always felt it really needed to be shown. So we made you this video:

Here's what you do:  cut the end off the cucumber. Rub the two cut sides together until the foam begins to ball up. Wipe or rinse the foam off. Then use cucumber as desired.

I do this trick on all my cucumbers because I don’t know if there's a way to tell which ones will be bitter before biting into them. Anyone know why some are bitter and some aren’t?

Once you do the trick, you can make vinegar cucumbers.


My husband grew up snacking on cucumbers in vinegar. It was a favorite snack his mom made for him. When we first got married, he would slice cucumbers into a bowl then cover them in vinegar with just a splash of water. It would be so vinegary he would dowse each one in a ton of salt as he ate them.

They looked painful to eat. I would watch him and think, “Why are you torturing yourself?” I think I even asked, “Are you sure that how your mom made them?” (Turns out, it wasn’t.)

Once we started planting a garden each year and had cucumbers galore, I couldn’t help myself. I had to make it better for him.

So this recipe is what he loves from his childhood, with dill added for me, loved by all!


When the local cucumbers are plentiful, this is on our table every night for dinner. After dinner I slice more cucumbers into the brine for the next day and just make new brine about every other day.


Vinegar Cucumbers


2 c. filtered water
3/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar* (the kind with the mother)
2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. dill seed
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 cucumbers, sliced


Combine water through pepper, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour into a large container with a lid. Slice enough cucumbers to fill the container, making sure all cucumbers are touching the brine. Cover and marinate in the fridge at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours. Serve and enjoy.

*If you want only a hint of vinegar, reduce to 1/2 c.

Variations:  If you like a little heat, try adding  red pepper flakes to the brine.

For onion lovers, sliced onions can be added with the cucumbers.

local cucumbers
Things I love about this recipe:  It's a healthy, quick addition to meals - and it doesn't require cooking (!!!)

Aren't we always looking to add more vegetables into our meals? Cucumbers as a side dish - BOOM.

Apple cider vinegar is also a healthy addition. We make an ACV drink that is tasty, boosts our immune system, and detoxifies. Adding ACV is always a win. If you haven't heard about benefits of ACV, read here and here.

On hot evenings, I love having a cold side dish to go with dinner. This dish comes together quickly anyway but the fact that I make it the night before (after we're all fed and satisfied) is a bonus for busy summer days that I'm rushing to get a meal on the table.

Local Pumpkin Produce Box is a local, family-owned business that delivers weekly produce boxes to the Tri-Cities, Washington area, including fruit boxes to local businesses. 

Local Pumpkin Produce Box provides a connection between the local farmers and your table, enabling you to eat healthier, support local and not even have to leave your house. If you are interested in more information or would like to sign up for your own box, click here.

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