Kiwi: Delicate, Tart, and Sweet?>

Kiwi: Delicate, Tart, and Sweet

by Berkeley Wellness

Kiwi (also known as kiwi fruit or kiwifruit) was introduced to New Zealand from China around 1906, and though it isn't related to the green gooseberry, New Zealanders called this unusual fruit "Chinese gooseberry," probably because both berries have pale green flesh. Later, as New Zealand became a primary kiwi-producing nation, and as foreign demand for the fruit increased, they renamed the fruit after their national bird, the kiwi. Over the years, the kiwi has emerged from the status of an exotic delicacy to a highly popular fruit that is widely consumed (and grown) in the United States.

Kiwi is deceptively plain in appearance. Beneath its fuzzy brown surface you'll find brilliant pale green flesh speckled with a ring of tiny edible black seeds. Delicate, tart, sweet, and complex in flavor, kiwi is a berry that can be delightfully refreshing when eaten on its own. It also serves as a colorful garnish for a variety of dishes.

Types of Kiwi

The most common type of kiwi in the markets is the green Hayward (though it will only be labeled “kiwifruit”). Other types may also be available in specialty markets. Here is a sampling of varieties of kiwi: Gold: Gold kiwis have  bronze skin and a pointed cap at one end. Inside, the

Kiwi: Nutrition

While many types of fruit tend to be high in only one or two nutrients, kiwi is brimming with a wide complement of healthy substances. It is an outstanding source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. Kiwi also supplies a good amount of folate and magnesium.

The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin—associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration—are in kiwi, as is beta-carotene. In addition, vitamin E is found in kiwi and—unlike many other foods that contain vitamin E such as nuts and oils—kiwi is low in fat and calories.

For a full listing of nutrients, see Kiwifruit in the National Nutrient Database.

How to Choose the Best Kiwi

 When buying green or gold kiwis, choose plump, fragrant fruit that yields to gentle pressure. Unripe fruit has a hard core and a tart, astringent taste. If only firm kiwis are available, ripen them for a few days before eating them. Baby kiwifruit should be purchased firm and eaten that way. How

How to Use Kiwi

It is possible to eat kiwi skin and all, although with the fuzzy-skinned, green variety you should rub off the peach-like fuzz. The skin is quite thin, like the skin of a Bosc pear, and is full of nutrients and fiber. If you prefer, you can peel kiwi with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife. Peeling is easier if the ends of the fruit are cut off first.

An enzyme in kiwis, called actinidin or actinidain, breaks down protein, which can be a problem when combining kiwi with other foods. For example, it prevents gelatin from setting. If you want to add kiwis to gelatin, you should first briefly cook them, which deactivates the enzyme. Similarly, kiwis must be cooked before adding them to dishes containing dairy products—unless the dish will be consumed right away, such as a smoothie.

On the other hand, actinidin's protein-eating actions can be used to advantage for tenderizing meat. Puree fresh kiwis and use the puree as a marinade for beef, poultry, or pork. Or, simply cut the fruit in half, rub it over the meat, and let stand about 30 minutes before cooking.

6 Ways to Serve Kiwi

Kiwi has a delicate flavor that complements salads, desserts, and even salsa. Here are six fun serving suggestions for kiwi.1.     Use kiwi in a salad in place of (or with) tomatoes.2.     Peel and dice kiwi and use to top frozen yogurt or sorbet.3.     Puree peeled kiwi with another fruit juice such