Kiwis, or kiwifruits, are known for their striking green insides, edible black seeds, and fuzzy skin. The flavour of these egg-shaped fruits is sometimes described as a cross between a peach and a pineapple, with the texture of a strawberry. But did you know that kiwi is technically a berry?
Native to China, where kiwis are known as Chinese gooseberries, these green gems were brought to New Zealand, where many are grown today. There, they were re-named after New Zealand’s national bird because of their resemblance to the brown and hairy kiwi bird.
Kiwis are often enjoyed on their own because of their beautiful colour and delicious taste. However, their tart-sweetness lends great flavour to desserts and smoothies
How to Select and Store Kiwi
Kiwis taste great no matter what size they are, but look for fruit that is unblemished and firm. Avoid shrivelled, mushy, or wet kiwis, as well as fruit with overly soft spots. Much like when checking the ripeness of an avocado, ripe kiwis give slightly to pressure. With your thumb, gently squeeze to see if the skin yields to pressure. Take care to avoid applying too much pressure though, as this will bruise the fruit.
Un-ripened kiwis will be hard to the touch and can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Since kiwis will continue to ripen after being picked, to ripen a kiwi, store it at room temperature until it begins to soften. Once a kiwi is ripe, it can be enjoyed right away or stored in the fridge for several days. If you want to speed up the ripening process, stick a kiwi in a brown paper bag or perforated plastic bag with a banana or apple for a day or two. The natural ethylene gas from the banana or apple will help the kiwi ripen faster.
To Freeze Kiwi
Kiwis are great to freeze! They hold their shape, texture, and colour quite well even after freezing. However, since they are high in acid, adding sugar or sweetening with a simple syrup will help improve their flavour and hold their shape.
To freeze, wash well and peel kiwifruit into slices, quarters, wedges, or however you prefer. Then choose one of the following options:
- Prepare with sugar: Add cut kiwi to a bowl. Mix (up to) ¼ cup white sugar per 1 cup of cut kiwi, then flash freeze on lined baking sheet.
- Prepare with simple syrup: Prepare a simple syrup by boiling, then cooling 3 parts sugar to 4 parts water. Cover diced kiwifruit with syrup and freeze in ice cube tray.
Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in freezer. Consume frozen fruit within 10 months!