What you see: Three tiny holes around the cucumber seeds, as if they’re arranged in a perfect triangle.
What it is: While a cucumber appears as a single, solid entity, it is made up of three segments; in this case, the segments aren’t fully connecting, leaving those holes.
Eat or toss? Eat! This is nothing more than a physical issue.
Three holes, spaced apart in a nearly perfect triangle, tell a little story about how tiny cukes become big cucumbers. Here’s the secret: they grow in three segments, each of which nurses its own set of seeds. They blend together so seamlessly that cuke slices like these are round.
As for the cuke shown above, everything came together just fine on the outside, but something misfired on the inside leaving the segments a bit disconnected. This was likely caused by conditions in the field. Cucumbers like consistently moist conditions, so perhaps a dry period was followed by a lot of rain and the cucumber grew faster than those segments could keep up with. There’s a chance a cuke with holes like this might taste a little bitter, but I encounter this frequently and have never noticed any off flavors. Ultimately, it’s a purely physical problem that shouldn’t get in the way of your salad.
Steve Sargent - Professor and Extension Post-Harvest Specialist - University of Florida
Cucumbers Curled and Became Bitter - National Gardening Association
Plant Structures - Fruit - Colorado State University Extension
Oversized buttons or salad ingredient? You decide!