Originally native to southern China, the kiwi was once known as ‘yang tao’. It was later called the ‘Chinese gooseberry’ and the ‘hairy bush fruit’, but when the seeds were introduced to New Zealand in the 20th century, it got its name ‘kiwifruit’.
Kiwi is a great source of vitamin C, which assists the body in the growth and repair of tissue. It also contains potassium (bones), vitamin E (hair, skin, nails) and the black pips contain more dietary fibre than a bowl of bran flakes!
Kiwi thrives in warm climates and grows on a vine, similar to a grape. It is notoriously difficult to pollinate because bees are rarely drawn to their flowers. Some kiwi farmers therefore either blow pollen over the blooms or keep bee hives among the vines to promote pollination.
Buy firm, unwrinkled kiwifruit and they should ripen after a few days at room temperature if you avoid keeping them in direct sunlight. Do not store with other fruits as the kiwi is sensitive to the ethylene gas that they can sometimes give off.
Although most people prefer to remove the furry skin of this fruit, it is in fact edible. Kiwifruit can become bitter and lose colour when cooked, so it’s best to eat it raw in a smoothie, sorbet or salad.
Just a little bit of kiwi flesh can actually tenderise meat in minutes! This is due to the enzyme in the fruit that breaks down surface meat fibres.
If you hate getting fur from your kiwifruit all over the flesh, rub it with a cloth before cutting or peeling.