What is Kirby Cucumber

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Kirby cucumber is a miniature, crunchy variety of traditional cucumbers that packs quite a few nutrients and is versatile in many recipes.

What is a Kirby Cucumber?

Kirby cucumber is a small variety (not more than 6 inches) of cucumber, which is popular for pickling. The flesh of these cucumbers is quite firm, and there are bumps along the entire body of the vegetable. They have a very crunchy consistency and they are very popular for pickling cucumbers. That being said, they are also excellent for salad or diced up for salsa. The term “kirby cucumber” has now become synonymous for pickling cucumbers, even though there are other pickling cucumber varieties that didn’t always fall under this classification. These cucumbers don’t have a waxy outer layer, which is why they are so ideal for pickling.

For those people who like to avoid too many seeds in their cucumbers, this variety also has an immature seed cavity in the center of the vegetable, leading to very few seeds. These cucumbers are also slightly less juicy, on average than traditional cucumbers.

A Kirby cucumber against a dark background

Kirby cucumbers are usually short and they’re always bumpy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Kirby Cucumber Calories

In terms of calories, kirby cucumbers only contain 14 calories in 1 cup of sliced vegetables. This is quite similar to normal cucumbers, which only contain approximately 16 calories in 1 cup of sliced vegetable. There are also some active ingredients and minerals, as well as a small amount of dietary fiber, but generally speaking, these are not nutrient-dense vegetables.

How to Store Kirby Cucumber?

Most people recommend the immediate use of kirby cucumbers, or any pickling cucumbers, for that matter, but that simply isn’t a reality for everyone, particularly if they want to use them as salad vegetables over a matter of days. If you don’t use them immediately, you can try to wrap the cucumber in a damp paper towel and store it in the refrigerator. Other people recommend placing the cucumber immediately into a plastic bag without washing it first. On an average, however, you can store a kirby cucumber in some type of breathable container (grape bag, etc.) for 3-5 days before their quality becomes overly compromised.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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