History & Description:
Native to China, kiwifruits were originally known as Yang Tao. In 1960, they were renamed Chinese Gooseberries. Kiwifruits are approximately 3 inches long and weigh about four ounces. Their green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with a taste that mixes strawberries, melons and bananas all in one which gives this fruit its unique taste. Kiwifruits have a bright green flesh speckled with tiny black seeds which is covered by a fuzzy brown skin. Sometimes the skin is yellow depending on the variety.
Kiwifruits are rich in Vitamin C (more than oranges); potassium and they are a good source of beta-carotene. These nutrients provide a healthy amount of antioxidants and vitamins which may help to prevent colon cancer and reduce inflammation in the body.
Choosing & Storing:
When selecting kiwifruits, hold them between your thumb and forefinger and gently apply pressure; the fruits that have the sweetest taste will yield gently to pressure. Avoid kiwifruits that are very soft, shriveled or have bruises and damp spots. Size is not related to the fruit’s quality so choose a kiwifruit based upon your personal preference or recipe requirement. Kiwifruits can be left to ripen for a few days at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight or heat. Placing the fruits in a paper bag with an apple, banana or pear will help to speed their ripening process. Ripe kiwifruits can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Tips for Preparing:
Kiwifruits taste divine eaten fresh. They can be peeled with a paring knife and then sliced or you can cut them in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Kiwifruits should not be eaten too long after cutting since they contain enzymes (actinic and bromic acids) that act as a food tenderizer, with the ability to further tenderize itself and make the kiwifruit itself overly soft. If you are adding kiwifruit to a fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy. Try adding kiwifruits to green salads, sliced into fruit salads, mixed with orange and pineapple to make delicious chutney that can be served with chicken or fish.