In season: kiwifruit
Kiwifruit landed in New Zealand at the turn of last century – seeds were brought from China’s Yangtze River. Originally called Chinese gooseberry, the fruit was renamed by exporters in 1959 to avoid confusion with the green gooseberry and to identify it more closely with New Zealand. Our main variety is the Hayward.
Gold kiwifruit, which was developed in New Zealand, is naturally softer than green kiwifruit and tastes more tropicalsweet and mellow. A new, red kiwifruit should be on the market soon.
Baby kiwifruit, or kiwiberries, are a small, sweet, smooth-skinned variety designed to be eaten whole and unpeeled, like a berry – they are sold in punnets.
It’s best to buy kiwifruit that are firm but not hard, and without any soft spots or wrinkled skin (which indicates they are old or haven’t been handled correctly).
Hard kiwifruit will ripen at room temperature but you can speed things up by putting them in a paper bag with an ethylene-producing fruit like an apple or banana. Ripe kiwifruit will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two weeks.
For recipe ideas that go way beyond pav and cream, check out zesprikiwi.com for the likes of Kiwi Kale Smoothie Bowl, Kiwifruit Shrimp Cocktail, and Kiwifruit White Chocolate Scones.