Kiwis (Actinidia chinesis) are a cylindrical egg shaped hairy berry of grey-brown color, which may be eaten with or without skin. The light-green flesh is firm and juicy. It is speckled with tiny edible black seeds around the center, which makes it ideal for decorative purposes. (However, when added to fruit salads kiwi has a tendency to soften other fruit. So make sure you add it last, just prior to serving). A good tasting kiwi has a light lemony flavor that is reminiscent of strawberries and bananas. Choose kiwi that are plump and yield to gentle pressure, like ripe peaches. Unripe kiwis are hard and have a tart, astringent taste. However, they will gradually ripen after a few days at room temperature. This ripening process may be sped up by placing the fruit in a plastic bag. Unripe kiwis may keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. Reject shriveled or mushy fruits, or those with bruises or wet spots. Size has no influence on the quality of kiwis. The variety available under the Nature & More label is Hayward.
The kiwi fruit was originally known as "Yang Tao" and was first grown in the valley of the Yangtze river in China. In 1906 missionaries introduced it to New Zealand, where the fruit was refined through extensive breeding. Commercial production began in 1937, when a New Zealand farmer grew kiwi on the Bay of Plenty. Rumour has it that they gained popularity in the 1960's, after they were served in a restaurant in California.
Serving size: 100 grams
It is best to buy firm kiwifruit and allow them ripen at home. A kiwifruit is ripe when plump and slightly soft to the touch with a fragrant smell. Choose kiwifruit with no bruises or soft spots and avoid fruit with wrinkles or signs of exterior damage.