Do You Hate Cucumbers Too?
Have you ever wondered why you or someone you know hates cucumbers? The answer might be in your genes. Read on to find out more about cucumber hate.
I've had a strong aversion to cucumbers my whole life. Interestingly, it also extends to watermelons, which in my opinion taste similar; however, I like pickles just fine! My father also shares the same "cucumber hate" with me, so that was my first clue that there might be more to it than a weird personal quirk. Here's what I learned.
Scientific Look at Cucumber Hate
Why some people find cucumbers disgusting
Like most vegetables (cucumbers are actually scientifically classified as fruit, but most people treat them as vegetables) cucumbers contain various phytochemicals. A lot of these bioactive compounds may have a positive effect on human health. Many of them are also known for their bitter and pungent taste.
Now this is where it gets interesting. Back in 1931, scientists have identified an organic substance Phenylthiocarbamide - often simply called PTC - that either tastes bitter, or is completely tasteless depending on the genetic makeup of the individual.
Cucumbers contain related organic compounds that are thought to cause the taste some people find repugnant (and others don't notice at all). A gene called TAS2R38 is responsible for the ability to taste the earlier-mentioned PTC, and another bitter compound called PROP. It's not too much of a stretch to say that there could be some more unpleasant chemicals that only certain people can taste.
It's true... The cucumber hate might actually be encoded in your genes! I think we should take pride in our superior tasting powers that lesser mortals do not possess. Go ahead, celebrate your genetical superiority.
Why Do Watermelons Taste Like Cucumbers?
I swear, people think I'm crazy when I tell them I don't like watermelons. "Whaaaat, how can you NOT like watermelons? They are awesome!". It's not like I hate watermelon because it tastes watermelon-y. I dislike it because it reminds me of cucumbers (especially the part closer to the rind). However, the taste is much fainter than that of cucumbers, so I can somewhat tolerate it.
There's no real mystery here, though. Both cucumbers and watermelons are members of the same Cucurbitaceae plant family. They're basically like cousins. Evil, wicked cousins.
Know Your Enemy: The Cucumber
Vile cucumbers thriving in their natural habitat. Contrary to the popular belief, cucumbers are not suitable for human consumption unless prepared properly (e.g. pickled).
Cucumber Hater Badge
Feel free to use this badge in your forum signature or a blog post. Wear it proudly, for you are one of us - one of the enlightened people who know that cucumbers do not taste good.
- Bitter taste, phytonutrients, and the consumer: a review on the Americal Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Various Wikipedia articles.
- My awesome taste buds.
Raphael on April 19, 2020:
THANK YOU! you helped me convince my girlfriend that I'm not crazy^^ ( Though she suspected I had written this post myself^^ ).
Liane on December 30, 2019:
Thank you for this! I’ve always hated cucumber and watermelon and I’m a vegan so I thought it was weird. Thanks for explaining it!!
Markey on February 01, 2019:
Couldn't agree more! The smell of the C-fruit is horrible, let alone the Taste. Nobody likes them!
People the don't agree with mee always have the same argument: "how can you dislike, it practically has no taste".
Ok so, the people that don't hate Cucumber, at best they 'don't hate cucumber'.
I say Kill them all and make them Public enemy nr. 1!
(The C-fruit, not the people)
Austin on October 21, 2018:
Thank you so much for making this post! My girlfriend thinks I shouldn't hate cucumbers as much as I do. I strongly disagree with that! Probably going to make that logo my xbox live gamertag for a little.
GDTMN on October 05, 2018:
I can detect that a cucumber is being cut and used for something as soon as the skin has been broken. The odor makes me nauseas. It's not a matter of eating or not eating but being in the same space that makes me ill.
person on April 12, 2018:
I got food poisoned by cucumber, and just looking at the makes me nauseous
Random guest on January 14, 2018:
Cucumbers are disgusting.cant believe people actually like them. They have a disgusting earthy taste with a slimy crunchy texture. Cucumbers easily ruin any good salad
Hater of Watermelon on November 23, 2017:
It's the smell I can't take. I can't be around either, so I have never tasted it.
layla on September 01, 2017:
Cucumbers are honestly a demon virus from the darkest pits of the underworld......they infect everything with their foul taste....once something on your plate has touched a cucumber....that's it...it's tainted. Same goes with watermelon.
The B-O-D-Y on August 24, 2015:
What I learned today: The Devil likes to eat gigapoop that acts like ninja garden gnomes and tastes like himself.
Cucumber suck! ^^^^^^
FedoraMGTOW on March 02, 2015:
I cannot stand cucumbers. They're sprinkled in sandwiches as if they're just another mild vegetable, but the repulsiveness that is cucumber completely overpowers every other flavor. What's more, the cucumber does leave a disgusting residue if it's plucked out. My parents and brother all like cucumber, and my mom has tried to give me salads with plucked out cucumber in the past, and I could just barely tolerate it. I like pickles, but only if they're crunchy or if they're dill chips. I hate the dill spear variety, just whole cucumbers dropped in pickling liquid. I do, however, like melon, watermelon, honeydew, and celery.
Colleen on March 01, 2015:
Finally. A community who understands me. I was feeling all alone. ;(
anonymous on August 20, 2013:
They're good in a first year garden to leech toxins or excess nutrients out of soil and that's about it.
anonymous on July 13, 2013:
i like watermelon but HATE cucumbers
anonymous on August 29, 2012:
I say they shouldn't be banned because some ppl can't eat them i enjoy them tons, but if you don't like them just don't eat them problem solved. If then contaminate some of your foods don't eat that food.
anonymous on August 19, 2012:
Aahh finally I know I'm not alone. Thanks for making this post. Watermelons are ok but I prefer to stay away. They do taste a little bit like cucumbers. Cucumbers make me completely loose my appetite. I can taste if someone used the breadknife for cucumbers and then slice my bread. Just awful. And it is not a bitter taste. Hard to describe what ir's like.
anonymous on July 09, 2012:
I love cucumbers and watermelon. Both are yummy and refreshing and I eat them everyday. Interestingly, my daughter can't stand either.
Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on June 25, 2012:
Love it. Fascinating to know about the cucumber/melon connection and it explains my lifelong hatred of both!
MarcellaCarlton on May 24, 2012:
This is the one thing I can't stand---cucumbers. I didn't know there was anyone else out there like me.
Zut Moon on February 19, 2012:
The last five cucumbers I spoke with didn't think much of you either ... LOL
julieannbrady on January 12, 2012:
Hello my dear ... it's me again and I know you surely know that I LOVE cucumbers!!! Especially with sour cream and dill.
cocktailsexaminer on August 16, 2011:
Very interesting lens! Though I must say that I love cukes!
anonymous on May 18, 2011:
I'm not the only one! The only two foods I passionately hate are watermelon and cucumbers!
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on April 29, 2011:
I love English cucumbers and watermelon. Hubby and his mom can't stand cucumbers. It must be in their genes.
anonymous on January 31, 2011:
They look as if they are going to sprout legs and come and eat me for dinner!!! AHHHHHHH
Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on January 06, 2011:
Very interesting lens. I love cucumbers, but in a similar topic I remember National Geographic had a "Smell test" many years ago. They found that people perceive odors very differently, too. Blessed by a SquidAngel
anonymous on December 17, 2010:
Just my luck. I could really go for a cuke right now but none in the house.
Craftyville on September 16, 2010:
Thanks for the interesting info, now I know why I hate cucumbers. However, I do like the occasional slice of watermelon and there's always a jar of pickles in the fridge.
anonymous on September 14, 2010:
Oh my, and even a "Cuccumber Hater" badge LOL * runs off to hang out with the cuke lovers * - Kathy
anonymous on September 13, 2010:
thank you for this information, I've always hated the taste of cucumber, watermelon and also celery, now I know why
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 02, 2010:
Very interesting science. Oddly, though I'm a cucumber lover I'm on your side about watermelon. Just not crazy about it at all. Fun lens!
oztoo lm on August 15, 2010:
I guess I fall in the"don't taste of anything" category. Interesting info.
anonymous on August 14, 2010:
Yup, I hate cucumbers and watermelon. My mom just handed me a bowl of cubed watermelon and I feel like throwing up.
Andrew Po (author) on August 13, 2010:
@poutine: Thanks a lot :) Hmm, I have nothing against turnips... I've lensrolled it on this lens as well.
poutine on August 13, 2010:
I Hate Cucumbers has been added to lensroll on the following lens
Make Friends With Rutabagas Also Known As Turnips
poutine on August 13, 2010:
By the way I also love pickles.
Sorry I can't be in your "Cucumber Hater" Club
Andrew Po (author) on August 08, 2010:
@joanhall: I had no idea... That sounds so weird.
Thanks for the comment :)
Joan Hall from Los Angeles on August 08, 2010:
Oh, and did you know that some people make watermelon rind pickles?
Joan Hall from Los Angeles on August 08, 2010:
BTW, I hate pickles. Such an evil thing to do to such a wonderful fruit.