The kiwi hails from New Zealand and is named after the native bird of that country. This fruit is also commonly known as a Chinese gooseberry for its edible fruit.
A kiwi is botanically identified as Actinidia chinensis of the family Actinidiaceae. The history of the kiwi is related to China and is believed to be more than 700 years old. However, this fruit is now widely grown in other countries like the US, France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Russia.
The kiwi is a medium or small fruit with a fuzzy brown skin, weighing approximately 3 – 4 ounces. The bright green flesh of the fruit is of a creamy consistency and contains tiny black seeds towards the center of the fruit. The green and black combination of this fruit can change any salad dressing dramatically.
Kiwi should be selected when it is firm and without any soft spots. Keep it at room temperature for 3 to 5 days to ripen. Once it is ripe, you can keep it in the refrigerator for one week.
Simply remove the fuzzy peel of the kiwi and enjoy the entire fruit. You can also use this fruit to decorate cakes, cocktails, salads, or breakfast cereals.
According to the latest research the kiwi is the most nutritious of the major fruits:
Excellent source of vitamin C
A good source of potassium
High in fiber
No cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat
One medium sized kiwi (approx. 76 grams) has only 46 calories. Since it is high in vitamin C, it reduces the risk of arthritis, asthma, colon cancer and heart disease. A kiwi also contains a high amount of dietary fiber that reduces a high cholesterol level.
Kiwi is available throughout the year. While the California kiwi is available from November to May the New Zealand variety is available from June to October.