Kiwi, often known as kiwifruit is an edible berry in the shape of an oval. The outer skin of kiwi is fibrous and brownish-green in color. It has green colored or golden colored flesh inside the skin and tiny black seeds form the rows within the flesh. The soft texture of kiwifruit and its distinct sweet and tangy flavor makes it a very popular fruit in various kiwi recipes such as kiwi fruit salsa, mojito and kiwi fruit salad and kiwi ice cream. Kiwi is also popularly sold as ‘Chinese gooseberry’.
History of Kiwi
Southern China is believed to be the native place of Kiwi or Chinese gooseberry. It is not only the native fruit but also regarded the ‘National fruit’ of the country. Kiwifruit is also found in some parts of India, South East Siberia and Japan. Archeologists had stated that the first cultivation of Kiwi has been started in the 20th century. The first kiwi seeds were planted in the year 1906 and the first kiwifruit was obtained in 1910. Though, kiwi is the national fruit of China, but according to recent studies, the country is not the leading producer of the fruit. Nowadays, Italy is on the top of the list for producing the highest amount of kiwifruit, followed by New Zeeland, Chile, United States of America and Japan. France and Greece is also the kiwi producing nations.
Culinary Use of Kiwi
Kiwi is a sweet and sour fruit that lends itself to many dessert as well as savory dishes. Its unique flavor, distinctive color and soft texture are the all qualities that make it a favorite fruit for puddings, ice creams, jams and jellies. Even cakes and pastries are also garnished with kiwi slices. Favorite kiwi recipes include tarts, fruit salsa and sauces. One of the unique kiwi recipes is fruit pizza that includes cookie dough crust topped with kiwi slices along with other fruits. Condiments are also prepared with kiwi to be served with snacks and appetizers. Kiwi spreads are fondly savored with toast and crackers. Due to the exterior fibrous skin, kiwifruit seems to be unpalatable at first instance, but the juicy and soft interior makes a tempting ingredient for many famous desserts. Savory kiwi recipes are the result of the tartness present in the fruit. The enzymes present in the kiwi works well as a meat tenderizer, hence some recipes for meat marinades include kiwi as well. Curdling of milk can also be performed by the use of kiwifruit enzyme. Kiwi juice, kiwi shake and some alcoholic drinks made with kiwi juice are some of the most popular kiwi recipes. However, being a fruit, kiwi can be eaten raw after peeling the skin.
Popular Kiwi Recipes
- Kiwifruit chutney – It is a very appetizing condiment that includes other ingredients such as lemon juice, spices, raisins and bananas.
- Kiwi frozen yogurt pie – It is one of the easiest kiwi recipes prepared by filling the pie with a mixture of yogurt and fruits including kiwi, strawberry and pineapple.
- Kiwifruit sorbet – It is a refreshing and cool summer recipe. It can be easily prepared without any ice cream machine. Corn syrup and lime juice are also added to give flavor to the sorbet.
- Chicken breast with kiwifruit – This is one of the most unique savory kiwi recipes. Poached chicken breast is placed on a layer of kiwifruit slices and served as an entrée for a light meal.
Cuisines Commonly Making Kiwi Recipes
Kiwi recipes are commonly prepared in Chinese cuisine as kiwi is the ‘National fruit’ of the country. Kiwi chutney, kiwi jam, kiwi pudding and even chicken with kiwifruit are some of the popular and well-liked kiwi recipes in Chinese cuisine. Being an effective meat tenderizer, kiwi is often used while marinating. In New Zeeland as well, kiwifruit is highly acclaimed as a juicy fruit. Cakes and puddings are garnished with kiwi slices. Kiwifruit is also a main ingredient in fruit salads and fruit creams. Savory kiwi recipes also has special place in the cuisine of New Zeeland. Italian, French, Japanese and Chilean cuisines are also considered the most famous cuisines for making numerous kiwi recipes. These cuisines make better use of kiwifruit due to the abundant supply of kiwi in these regions.
Preferred Methods of Making Kiwi Recipes
- Sliced – Most of the kiwi recipes calls for kiwi slices. If the outer skin is less fibrous, slices can be added with skin otherwise peeled slices should be incorporated.
- Pounded – Pounded kiwifruit is used in making salsa and chutney.
- Blended – Kiwifruit pieces and other ingredients are blended in food processor to make sorbet, kiwi juice and chutney.
- Boiled – Pieces of kiwifruit are boiled with other fruit juices and pectin to make jams, jellies and marmalades.
- Canned – Kiwifruit is a favorite fruit for commercial canning purposes.
Nutritive Value of Kiwi
- Kiwifruit supplies excellent amount of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin A and E are also present in significant amounts in kiwi recipes.
- Though skin seems to be unappetizing but it supplies flavonoid antioxidants.
- Seed oil obtained from the fruit is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that also acts as a blood thinner.
- Dietry fibers, carbohydrates and proteins are also present in kiwifruit, whereas it is also considered a low-calorie fruit.
Consumption Criteria of Kiwi
The enzymes present in kiwifruit have shown some allergic effects in certain people. Kiwi also contains ‘calcium oxalate’ that is responsible for some adverse effects after consumption. Sore throat, lips swelling, rashes, vomiting and abdominal pain are some of the mild effects caused by the consumption of kiwifruit, though these effects can be seen only in some susceptible persons.
Buying and Storing of Kiwifruit
- Kiwifruit should be firm and blemish-free while buying.
- When gently pressed, the flesh should yield a bit.
- Shriveled and soft spotted fruits should be avoided.
- Kiwifruit can be ripe while stored in a paper bag with an apple or at the room temperature.
- Whole kiwifruit can be stored in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- Peeled and cut kiwi slices can be dipped in thick sugar syrup and frozen for later use.
Types of Kiwi
- Hayward – This is the common green variety of kiwifruit.
Golden kiwifruit – This usually contains the golden flesh inside that is sweeter than the green variety.