Originally known as the Chinese Gooseberry, the kiwi fruit was first exported by New Zealand and so came to be renamed after the flightless bird, New Zealand’s national symbol. They are now imported from many countries, including China and Italy. The oval fruit is about the size of a hen’s egg, with a fibrous, dull, brown hairy skin. Cut it in half, and it will reveal its beautiful bright green flesh with a circle of tiny black edible seeds. The flavour is sweet but with a sharp, refreshingly acidic tang.
All year round.
Buy firm fruit that just yields to gentle pressure. Avoid any that are too soft or wrinkly. Firm fruit will ripen in the fruit bowl in a day or two.
Cut kiwis in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, or peel thinly with a knife or vegetable peeler and slice. Kiwi is best eaten raw, added to fruit salads or blended in smoothies. The enzymes in kiwi make it good for tenderising meat but it will also dissolve gelatine and aspic and prevent it setting.
If the fruit is under-ripe, keep it in the fruit bowl for up to 1 week. Once ripened, store in the fridge.