All About Kiwifruit

This once-exotic import is now a tasty treat that's widely available.

Learn: Although the kiwifruit is native to China and was once called the Chinese gooseberry, it most often goes by the moniker of its adopted homeland, New Zealand (the fruit resembles the kiwi bird, which is indigenous to the country). Kiwifruit's fuzzy brown exterior belies its emerald-green interior, which offers a refreshing flavor that's a cross between strawberry and pineapple. The smooth flesh is dotted with edible black seeds that provide a crunchy textural contrast. Kiwifruits are nutrient-rich, too. One delivers double the vitamin C of an orange and as much potassium as a banana.

Purchase: Thanks to a tag-team summer growing season in California and the southern hemisphere, you can find kiwifruits in your local market year-round. Kiwifruits are one of the few fruits that become sweeter after being picked. For the best ready-to-eat flavor, look for fruit that gives slightly when touched and is not wrinkled or bruised.

Store: Ripe kiwifruits can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. To ripen firm kiwis, place them in a tightly sealed brown paper bag, free from light, preferably with an apple or banana, which will release ethylene gas and speed the ripening process. Check every day or so to prevent over-ripening, which can cause kiwis to become mushy.

Use: As with a peach, the skin of a kiwifruit is edible. But if you prefer, the skin can easily be removed with a small paring knife. Just be sure to eat the fruit soon after cutting; it can quickly become soggy. Kiwifruits are sweet, juicy, and delicious on their own, but you can also add them to vanilla yogurt topped with granola for a nutritious breakfast.

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