Kiwi fruits, are the fuzzy brown fruits bursting with green goodness, also known around the world as "kiwis". Originally the hanging vine plant came from China, and were originally known as Chinese Gooseberries. Renamed by the New-Zealanders who started mass plantations and exports to the world in the 1960s, the fruits were re-named "Kiwi" fruits after the small flightless native birds of the same name. The plants are well suited to New Zealand climates, although a small industry also exists in Australia. At Ripe, kiwis are the only fresh produce item that are not always grown in Australia.
While many people like to eat kiwi-fruits as they do in New-Zealand, that is to slice them in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon, the skins are also edible.
Kiwis have a great nutritional profile, with twice the Vitamin C of an orange, plenty of fiber, Vitamin E and potassium and folate.
In the late 1970s kiwi-fruit growers began developing hybrid plants, experimenting with the natural development of a golden kiwi-fruit. Using cross pollination methods, and old wild fruit varieties, horticulturalists were able to grow this delicious new variety. Compared to the green kiwi, the flavour is much less tangy, with a tropical, sweet overtone, with hints of citrus. You can recognise the golden kiwi from the outside by its smooth bronze skin (no fuzz) and the slightly pointed end.
Both the green and Gold Kiwis are suitable for using in both sweet and savoury dishes, or enjoyed without just as they are. The flavours of the two varieties are complimentary and are a great addition to a fruit salad. The tangy acidic nature of the kiwifruit actually contains a substance that helps to digest other foods. This makes kiwi-fruits perfect for blending into marinades, or using in a fruity salsa alongside richer foods.
Kiwis keep well, and are best kept at room temperature. To speed ripening, place kiwi-fruit in a brown paper bag. While the flesh is very firm, they are still fine to eat, in fact many people prefer them to be firm rather than soft.