Milky Cucumbers

Greetings form the Midwest where we put everything in milk. When I was girl in the 1960's a favorite dish was of sliced cucumbers in whole milk, with a bit of apple cider vinegar, sugar, sliced onions, and I think, pepper. I have tried making it as an adult, but the milk curdles. Someone suggested adding cream, but that changes the dish. Is milk different now? Any suggestions?

  • Posted by: Trish
  • January 17, 2018


Laura May 31, 2020
Hi Trish,
Just saw this post and I had to answer! I also grew up with this dish here in Michigan, we ate it practically every day as soon as the cukes were ripe. We used pickling cukes and never large pulpy ones. Peeled and sliced thin, added to milk, vinegar, a bit of sugar,, touch of salt, black pepper. The tip for not curdling is to add the milk into the vinegar, not the vinegar into the milk. Try it! Ate buckets of this and still get cravings for it although everyone downstate thinks it sounds crazy. I think it's French Canadian-at least that's the family history of it. Good luck!
BerryBaby January 18, 2018
Using buttermilk and omitting the vinegar will still give the dressing a tangy flavor.
nancy E. January 17, 2018
Of course the vinegar is curdling the milk. Most creamy cucumber dishes involve yogurt for the cream. Ask any greek. Salt the cucumbers and rest in a colander to drain off extra liquid.
HalfPint January 17, 2018
@Trish, sounds like the milk is curdling because of the apple cider vinegar. If the milk is old enough, a small amount of vinegar could cause the milk to curdle. Heat will also help the curdling. I looked at some creamed cucumber recipes (basically what this salad is). Most of them have either mayo or Miracle Whip. Since these are also acidic and emulsified, the curdling from milk might not be noticeable.
Trish January 17, 2018
Hi Halfpint 😊 Thanks for your help, and for taking the time to look into creamed cucumbers. I may have to add additional fat. I did know know that the vinegar was the culprit. It has been a while since I tried making it and now I'm wondering if I may not have used whole milk, or if perhaps, as you mentioned, the milk were dated. I think I'll try the recipe again with fresh whole milk and see what happens. I did make it with kefir last year, but the result was too tangy. The original recipe was all about the sweet milk and the flavors infused into it by the other ingredients. My mom found me, at age two, having climbed onto the dinner table, with the huge serving bowl of cucumbers up to my mouth, drinking the milky brine. 😊 It's that yummy.
Happy New Year to you.
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