The history of kiwifruit, although often associated with New Zealand, actually has more distant roots. Kiwis originated in China, where they were once known as "mihoutao". In the early 20th century, kiwi seeds were brought to New Zealand by missionaries, and it was here that their commercial cultivation began in earnest.

In the 1950s, after decades of development and selection, kiwifruit began to be grown on a large scale in New Zealand, with a variety called Hayward becoming the most popular. New Zealand's climatic and geographical conditions proved ideal for growing kiwifruit, and the fruit flourished here.

The name "kiwi" itself is a reference to New Zealand's emblematic bird, due to the resemblance of the fruit's hairy skin to the feathers of the kiwi bird. As its popularity grew, kiwi became a fruit exported around the world, becoming a common feature in many cuisines and diets.

Today, New Zealand remains one of the world's leading producers of kiwifruit, although other countries such as Italy, Greece, France, Chile and even the USA also produce significant quantities of this delicious and nutritious fruit.

Nutritional highlights of kiwifruit

Kiwis are incredibly nutritious fruits, offering a variety of health benefits. Here are just a few of their nutritional highlights:

  1. Rich in vitamin C Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, often providing more than the recommended daily amount in a single serving. Vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system, promoting healthy skin, aiding wound healing and acting as a powerful antioxidant.

  2. Dietary fiber Dietary fiber: Kiwis are rich in dietary fiber, which can support digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels and promote a feeling of satiety, which can be helpful for weight management.

  3. Antioxidants Antioxidants: Kiwis contain a variety of antioxidants, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which help protect cells against free radical damage, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

  4. Vitamins and minerals In addition to vitamin C, kiwis also contain other important vitamins such as vitamin K and vitamin E, as well as minerals such as potassium and folate, which are essential for the body's overall health.

  5. Low glycemic index kiwis have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they don't spike blood sugar levels after consumption, making them a wise choice for people monitoring their blood sugar levels, especially diabetics.

In short, kiwis are versatile, nutritious fruits that can benefit overall health when included in a balanced diet.

Choosing and storing kiwifruit

Choosing kiwifruit

When choosing kiwifruit, here are a few points to consider to ensure you get quality fruit:

  1. Texture Texture: Look for kiwis that are slightly firm to the touch, but not too hard. Avoid kiwis that are soft or have sunken areas, which may indicate spoilage.

  2. Skin appearance The skin of kiwifruit should be smooth and free from excessive wrinkling. Ripe kiwis will have slightly wrinkled skin, but this should not be excessive.

  3. Color Color: Mature kiwis generally have golden-brown skin, although this depends on the variety. Avoid kiwis that are too green, as they may not be fully ripe.

  4. Scent Ripe kiwis often have a sweet fragrance. If possible, smell the fruit to check whether it has a pleasant, characteristic odour.

How to store kiwifruit

Once you've chosen your kiwifruit, here are a few tips on how to store them:

  1. Temperature Keep kiwifruit at room temperature if they are not yet ripe. Once ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

  2. Insulation Avoid placing kiwifruit in direct contact with other fruit, as this can accelerate ripening and cause them to rot more quickly.

  3. Quick to use Kiwis ripen quickly once picked, so try to eat them within 3 to 5 days of purchase to enjoy their full flavor.

Tips for preparing kiwifruit

Here are a few tips for preparing and eating kiwifruit:

  1. Peeling Most people prefer to peel kiwis before eating them. You can use a knife or a spoon to do this. First cut off both ends of the kiwi, then use a knife to slide under the skin and peel it. Another method is to cut the kiwifruit in half and use a spoon to remove the flesh from each half.

  2. Slices or quarters Once peeled, kiwifruit can be sliced into rounds or cut into quarters, as you prefer. Kiwi slices are perfect for garnishing fruit salads, cereals or yoghurts, while quarters can be eaten as a snack or used in recipes.

  3. Use in smoothies Kiwis add a refreshing, tangy flavor to smoothies. Simply peel and chop kiwis, then blend with other fruits, greens, yogurt and juice to create delicious, nutritious smoothies.

  4. In desserts Kiwis can be used to add a sweet and tangy touch to a variety of desserts. They are delicious added to pies, cakes, sorbets, crumbles or even simply served with a scoop of ice cream.

  5. Marinade for meat The tangy flavor of kiwis can also be used in meat marinades. Mix kiwis with other ingredients such as lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and herbs to create a tasty marinade for chicken, pork or beef.

  6. Sauce for savoury dishes Mix kiwis with other ingredients such as cucumber, fresh mint and lemon juice to create a fresh, tangy sauce that goes perfectly with fish or seafood dishes.

Why choose organic kiwifruit?

Favoring organic kiwifruit has a number of advantages, both for your health and for the environment. Here are just a few reasons why you might consider choosing organically grown kiwifruit:

  1. Fewer pesticide residues Organically grown kiwifruit are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. As a result, they have significantly lower levels of pesticide residues, reducing your exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals.

  2. More nutrients Organic fruits and vegetables, including kiwis, are often higher in nutrients than their conventional counterparts. Studies have shown that organic crops can contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can contribute to a more nutritious diet.

  3. Respect for the environment Organic farming promotes sustainable agricultural practices that preserve soil health, biodiversity and water resources. Organic methods encourage crop rotation, the conservation of natural habitats and the use of environmentally-friendly techniques, all of which help to reduce the overall ecological footprint of food production.

  4. Better taste and flavor Many kiwifruit lovers claim that organic fruit has a stronger taste and more authentic flavor than conventionally grown fruit. This may be due to slower ripening and more natural growing conditions.

Kiwifruit recipes

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