What fruit is ugly to look at, beautiful inside,
has a given name of a berry, was renamed after
an equally ugly, flightless, endangered bird, and
was unknown to North Americans until 1970?
The oft’ neglected kiwi is the size of a hen’s egg and has a drab, brown, fuzzy skin. Its inside is another story. It is a photographer’s delight — shiny bright greenish, golden flesh with even circular rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The kiwi’s flesh has a smooth, refreshing flavor resembling combined bananas, pineapple and strawberries. Early New Zealand exporters, before marketing in the U.S. in 1970, changed its name from Chinese Gooseberry to Kiwifruit after their national symbol, a chicken-sized, endangered brown flightless bird.
The kiwifruit is native to the Yangtze River valley of northern China. Similar forms developed in India and Japan. An educator introduced it into New Zealand where it was developed commercially. Italy now leads in production followed by Chile, South Africa, France, Greece, Japan and the US.
Kiwifruit is rich in vitamins C, A and E, also potassium and fiber. Each fruit is only about 46 calories.
The kiwi is one of few fruits where some people appreciate suggestions for eating it easily. It is actually a great grab-and-take snack. Simple slice the kiwi in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Its skin is edible and contains lots of fiber.
Select kiwis with no bruises or dark spots. Store away from direct sunlight at room temperature. They will keep for one to two weeks. Most kiwis are imported from Chile and New Zealand year-round.
USES FOR PEELED, CUBED KIWI OR KIWI PUREE:
- French toast
- Puree for drink syrups
- Cheese plates
- In dipping sauces
- Couscous or Bulgur
- In meat or fish sauces
- Jams and jellies