Although kiwifruits have been around for hundreds of years, they weren’t readily available in the US until about 20 or so years ago. Kiwifruits are really quite unattractive, having brown furry skin which I consider inedible (actually it is edible, but is just like eating a furry piece of cardboard!). Once you get that furry brown skin off of the fruit, however, you will find beautiful green flesh inside with edible black seeds. The fruit has become very popular due to its delicious flavor that is said to be a cross between a banana, strawberry, and pineapple.
I was under the impression that kiwifruits were indigenous to New Zealand, probably because of the name (the fruit was named after the New Zealand national bird, the Kiwi), but have learned that it actually originated in China and was brought to New Zealand by missionaries near the turn of the 20th century. Kiwifruits are also called Chinese Gooseberries. Most people I know have shortened the name to kiwi.
According to Kiwi-Fruit.info (a great site to learn more than you really want to know about kiwifruit), kiwifruits contain almost as much potassium as bananas and 1.5 times the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. They are also rich in Vitamins A and E. If you are so inclined to crush the black seeds, you will produce kiwifruit oil, which is rich in Alfa-Linoleic Acid, an important Omega-3 essential fatty acid. It might be easier and faster to purchase the oil which is available at health food stores.
I have seen kiwifruits often on restaurant salad bars, either cut in half or sliced, always with the brown furry skin left on. I think this is pure laziness! The The California Kiwifruit Commission recommends that you eat the skin; Yuck! I’m thinking that they want us to eat it because they don’t know how to peel it easily. My sister, Teri taught me the following very easy way to peel kiwifruit.
Here’s the secret:
Make sure you choose kiwifruit that are ripe – slightly soft when gently squeezed. Cut the ends of the kiwifruit off. Take a teaspoon from your silverware drawer and insert it up between the brown skin and the green flesh.
Holding the kiwifruit with one hand, move the spoon around the fruit (under the skin); the skin will slip off and the perfectly peeled fruit will pop out.
Now you can slice it, halve it, or quarter it. This process will take only about 10 seconds to do!