Bitter zucchini: what is the reason for this? How to remove bitterness?
How often have you come across bitter zucchini? What is the reason for this? Why does zucchini acquire bitterness? How to deal with this? We will analyze the answers to these and many other questions in this article.
Before we answer the questions about why this vegetable acquires a bitter taste, let's take a look at what a zucchini actually is. It may seem surprising, but this vegetable is a subspecies of the classic pumpkin we all know. The shape of the fruit of the plant is elongated and oblong, it has no lashes. Fruit color can be completely different. There are greenish, yellow, black, as well as bluish varieties. The pulp of these plants is soft and very quick to cook. It is because of its fast cooking that this vegetable is so loved and respected by culinary experts. You can consume zucchini boiled, it also feels great when stewing, frying. And also has a pleasant taste even fresh, not cooked. Traditionally, raw zucchini is complemented by a salad or appetizer.
What is so unpleasant about bitter vegetables?
The question is rhetorical, but nevertheless, if you cook any dishes from bitter zucchini, then it is unlikely that anyone will like this culinary masterpiece. This taste is not pleasant and can cause aversion to this vegetable for a long time, although in fact the assessment will be subjective.
How common is bitter zucchini?
Judging by the statistics of gardeners and scientists, bitter zucchini is less common than bitter cucumber. However, if you nevertheless come across such a vegetable, then you should get rid of it or do the right processing. Otherwise, the dish will be not only not tasty, but also harmful.
The cause of the bitterness
What is the reason for the ripening of such an unpleasant-tasting vegetable? According to experts, the bitterness is due to the high content of a substance such as curcubitin. It is a complex and nitrogen-free organic compound that is obtained from a glycoside of natural origin. This compound is widespread in nature. Curcubitacin is found in different parts of the plant, from which it follows that it can be found in the leaves or stem, as well as in the roots, inflorescences and fruits. So, to the question of why the vegetable is bitter, we can safely answer that this is due to the content of special substances called curcubitacins. Immediately, we note that the increased concentration of these substances in the vegetable can be for several reasons. How exactly, we will analyze below.
Consequences for the body
And now that we have figured out why vegetables have a bitter taste, similar to wormwood, it is also worth finding out what effects such a product can have on the human body. Science has long known that curcubitacin has an irritating effect, especially on the mucous membranes of the body. Such as the oral cavity, nasopharynx, intestinal mucosa, as well as the stomach. Curcubitacin can be very toxic. This substance can often cause severe nausea and subsequent vomiting, as well as dizziness and diarrhea. With a mild reaction, this substance causes an increased secretion of all glands. Experts say that this is beneficial for the bronchi, since the reaction leads to liquefaction of the existing sputum,as well as the presence of curcubitacin in the body allows other drugs to be better absorbed. Some of the plants that contain curcubitacyan are used in medicine, as part of drugs for sclerosis, sedatives, drugs for ulcers, laxatives, diuretic drugs, as well as adaptogenic and corticotropic drugs.
Curcubitacin. Reasons for education
Breeding experts have long sought to breed pumpkin crops with minimal curcubitacin. But situations often arise when zucchini growing nearby or in neighboring areas, are pollinated with completely different types of crops, as a result of such pollination, our vegetable receives a certain level of bitterness in taste. In order to avoid such situations, you should plant the seeds very carefully. Ornamental pumpkin crops should not grow near the future harvest. The second cause of bitterness can be the quality and quantity of watering. How often do you water the squash? According to experiments, the bitterness in taste can appear and intensify precisely due to insufficient watering or its irregularity. The fact of a sharp change in the humidity regime in the surrounding space can also affect the taste of a vegetable.
Such an example is the situation when there was a long and hot summer, and by the end of the warm period of the year, protracted downpours began. The next cause of bitterness can be the length of the light interval. The less the future harvest receives solar energy and heat, the more likely the bitter fruit will ripen. For this reason, pumpkin crops are rarely grown in the northern regions of Russia. Also, the reason may be the mineral fertilizers applied for feeding the plant during the period of its active growth. Phosphorus and similar fertilizers can be absorbed very quickly by plants and accumulate in the fruits and body of the plant. So it is highly discouraged to use such fertilizers in beds with all types of pumpkin crops. Thus, you can avoid unpleasant bitterness in the taste.zucchini, as well as create conditions under which the harvest will be more useful and healthy. By the way, nitrogen prevents the formation and accumulation of substances that cause bitterness, but the use of fertilizers with nitrogen in large quantities can be harmful.
How to get rid of bitterness
If you really like zucchini and you would like to preserve the harvest, but most or all of the harvest is bitter, then we can offer several simple ways to eliminate this unpleasant fact. Suppose you plucked zucchini from the garden, but you cannot cook it or eat it in any other form due to the presence of unpleasant bitterness in the taste and aroma. What can be done in this case? We start with the fact that the plucked vegetable should be thoroughly washed and cut into small pieces. After that, the vegetable is placed in a bowl, where salt water should be poured next. To prepare a salty solution, you need to dissolve two tablespoons of salt per liter of water. The zucchini should be kept in the resulting solution for about forty-five minutes, after which you will find that all the bitterness and unpleasant taste that were previously available from the vegetable have disappeared. If this is not the case, the slices of zucchini should be kept in a salted solution for a little more time. After this procedure, the vegetable should be washed and dried. Then it can be cooked as you are used to, all unpleasant aspects of taste and aroma will disappear after bathing in a salty solution. A similar method will work the same with a vegetable like eggplant. However, do not think that salt solves all problems, if it occurs to you to salt the zucchini for the winter period without keeping them in the solution for the allotted time, then all your blanks will taste bitter and you will have to say goodbye to them.