Friday, 10 November 2017

Profile On: Kiwi

As part of our Profile On series, this week we look at the exotic kiwi fruit, which is very popular at FFTO HQ! Read on to find out more.

What is it? 
Botanically a berry, it is New Zealand's defining agricultural product, even though it started life in China.

What does it look like?
It is a fuzzy fruit with a brown outside and a soft, green flesh on the inside. It has a distinctive white middle, with black seeds.

Other names?
Kiwifruit, Chinese gooseberry

Where's it from? 
The kiwis native to Northern China and was known as the Chinese gooseberry when it first arrived in New Zealand at the start of the 20th Century. When it came to export the fruit, to avoid the high duties charged on berries, the name was changed to kiwifruit, because of the shared characteristics with New Zealand's symbol, the kiwi bird, which is also small, brown and fuzzy. However, China is still the top producer, growing over 1.8 million tonnes in 2014. They are also available from California, and Chile.

When is it available?
Available for most of the year, the kiwi fruit is produced at the following times:

California - November to May
New Zealand - June to October
Chile - May to July

How do I eat it?
When purchasing, look for plump, fragrant kiwis that yield to gentle pressure. Avoid soft, bruised or shrivelled fruit.

You can eat your kiwi in a variety of ways. You can cut it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon; or you can eat it like an apple, as the brown fuzzy skin is perfectly edible (just remember to wash!) However, if you don't like the texture, you can peel the fruit and cut into slices or wedges.

When ripening keep kiwi away from heat and sunlight. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

What does it taste like?
The taste can be anywhere from sweet to tart.

What are the health benefits?
Health benefits include maintaining healthy skin tone and texture, reducing blood pressure, and preventing heart disease and stroke. Containing just 54 calories, the kiwi is a great snack or light dessert.

Do you like kiwis? Let us know @office_fruit

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