Kirby Cucumber


A small cucumber used for primarily for pickling. It's skin is thin and bumpy with yellow or green skin and very small seeds. They are very crisp pickles. It is used as a generic term for all small cucumber used for pickling.


Other names: Pickling Cucumbers, Liberty Cucumbers
Translations: Kirby Gurķi, Kirby Agurkas, Kirby Castravete, Kirby Krastavac, Kirby Dưa chuột, Kirby Ogórek, Kirby Komkommer, Kirby ककड़ी, Kirby Pepino, Кирби огурцов, Kirby Αγγούρι, كيربي الخيار, 커비 오이, Kirby okurek, Кирби Краставац, Kirby pipino, 柯比黄瓜, Kirby Cogombre, Kirby Kumara, Kirby uhoriek, Kirby Cetriolo, קירבי מלפפון, Kirby Ketimun, 星のカービィキュウリ, Kirby Concombre, Kirby Gurke, Kirby Agurk, Kirby Agurk, Kirby Pepino, Кірбі огірків, Kirby Kurkku, Кирби Краставица

Physical Description

Kirbys are small cucumbers, generally 3 to 5 1/2 inches long, often with an irregular shape. The skin is green, and can range from light to dark green, it is also bumpy, and may have small discolorations.

Colors: Green, dark green, light green

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sour, mild
Mouthfeel: Crisp
Food complements: Salads, Sandwiches, Dill
Wine complements: Gruner veltliner
Beverage complements: Sweet tea
Substitutes: Burpless cucumber

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november
Peak: june, july
Choosing: Look for kirby pickles that look fresh and crisp without bruising, mold or holes. Check for soft spots, especially at ends. They will be green, but may be various shapes of green, all of which are fine to choose.
Buying: Readily avaliable in supermarkets Farmer's markets and food stands generally offer the freshes variety. Order seeds on line, or buy in stores selling vegetable seeds.
Procuring: Grown in gardens and farms, they are hardy. Both spring and fall are good growing seasons, summer in some areas.

Preparation and Use

Pickle using white wine vinegar, salt and sugar. To remove seeds, slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Drag a spoon through the seeds to remove them. Slice an inch from each end of the cucumber, as bitterness tends to gather there. When pickled, eat as a snack or put on a sandwich. Also good to toss into summer salads. Complimented well with dill flavoring and lemon.

Cleaning: Wash well with clean water and dry with a kitchen or paper towel. Peel if there is any wax, but unlike conventional larger pickles, Kirbys are rarely sold with wax as their skins are used when pickling.

Conserving and Storing

If home pickled, store in an airtight container, and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. To serve, remove from liquid. If fresh, store in the refrigerate whole.


Cucumbers are grown in many areas of the world, such as India, Spain and the US.

History: Cucumbers are believed to have been first cultivated in India, but are now grown in many parts of the world. The Spaniards brought cucumbers to Haiti in 1494, spreading the use of the vegetable in the New World.

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