Is to cut the bite a common expression to express making something milder? As in putting lemon in the recipe cuts the bite of the garlic?

I thought it made sense but no one seems to understand what I'm trying to say!

  • google.pt/…
    – bookmanu
    Aug 6, 2018 at 15:55
  • Between lemons and garlic, it would be more common to use bite with the lemon. This might have set up the cognitive dissonance.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 7, 2018 at 5:52

2 Answers 2


cuts the bite can be interpreted as to reduce the strong flavor of garlic in the dish, with cut meaning reduce, and bite equivalent to strong flavor.

EDIT: As for the usage of the expression itself: it's indeed strange, but not something too exotic or esoteric. In fact, I'd say the phrase is quite useful when it comes to describing the process of making something milder in a shorter and more concise manner, while also retaining the original meaning.

  • 1
    I think the OP knows what it means, and is asking whether it’s a common expression. Aug 7, 2018 at 2:52
  • I seem to have misinterpreted what OP was trying to say. Thank you for the feedback. An edit has been made to reflect this.
    – VTH
    Aug 7, 2018 at 3:56

To cut the bite of a pungent ingredient, like onions or garlic is the correct term.

Cut = 2a : trim, pare, e.g., cut one's nails according to merriam-webster and bite = 7b : a sharp penetrating effect e.g.,The soup has a peppery bite. according to merriam-webster

A simple google search of to cut the bite of garlic yielded 50 000 000 results.

Alternatively, you could say tame the flavour or even neutralize the flavour.

Note that there is a cooking stackexchange site where you can learn about more cooking terms.

  • Most of the hits in that Google search do not contain the phrase in question. Aug 7, 2018 at 2:54

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