Kiwis

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The Kiwi fruit was originally called “Chinese Gooseberries” when New Zealand started exporting it in the early 1950s. It was renamed into the Kiwi fruit in 1959 due to its similarity in appearance to the Kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird. The United States ranks 10th in the world in Kiwi fruit production, with 99% of the product coming from California.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Ericales
  • Family: Actinidiaceae
  • Genus: Saurauia
  • Species: A. deliciosa
  • Binomial name: Actinidia deliciosa

Kiwi Fruit Trivia

  • The French call the Kiwi Fruit Souris végétales, which is literally translated into “vegetable mice.”
  • The New Zealand Variety “Hayward” is the most popular variety around the world
  • Kiwi fruit contains Actinidin, which can be used to tenderize meat
  • Kiwi fruit plants can produce fruits for up to 30 years

Kiwi Fruit Buying Guide

When buying kiwi fruits, choose the ones that are plump, fragrant, and has a little give to it when pressing the fruit. Unripe Kiwi fruits are firm to the touch.

Unripe Kiwi fruits are fine to purchase if you’re not planning to consume them immediately because they will continue to ripen.

Avoid buying kiwi fruits that are bruised and are overly soft to the touch, these are signs of overripe kiwis, and they don’t lend to a pleasant eating experience.

Kiwi Fruit Production & Farming in Texas

As of now, there are no commercial Kiwi farming operations in Texas, but there have tests done in the past years that have shown the Kiwi fruit as being a potential fruit crop in a lot of places in Texas. We can hope to see more local growers of kiwi fruit in the near future.

Pesticides:

The Kiwi fruit is listed as part of EWG’s clean fifteen. This means that that a majority of Kiwis tested had no traces of pesticide on their skin (which is also edible).

Geography:

The Kiwi fruit plant requires excellent drainage and a pH level of 5.5-6.5. For maximum production and fruit quality, full sun exposure is recommended. In terms of cold tolerance, the Kiwi fruit can tolerate temperatures of up to 10 degrees. The chilling hours required for maximum production is about 700-900 hours. Since kiwi fruit plants have large, broad leaves and brittle shoots, they are susceptible to strong winds, so sheltered sites are preferred.

Packaging:

Kiwis must be hand-harvested and handled with extreme care. Damaging a kiwi fruit during harvesting causes it to release ethylene gas and can be detrimental to the other fruits in the batch. After picking, they are carefully transported to a packing house where they are packed according to customer requirements.

They are then stored in strictly controlled temperatures (-0.5C to 0C) and relative humidity of 90% to 95%. They can be stored in this condition for up to eight months. The storage of kiwi fruits is dependent on the timing of the harvest. Kiwi fruits that have been harvested too late can reduce overall storage time to two months.

Eating Kiwi Fruits

The easiest way to eat the kiwi fruit is the “cut and scoop” method. Simply cut the fruit in half, scoop out the meat, and enjoy.

A lot of people may find it strange, but the kiwi’s skin, although hairy, is also edible. This means that you can bite into a kiwi, skin and all, like an apple. 0

Storage:

Kiwi fruits, once purchased, are hardy little fruits. They can stay on the kitchen counter for a few days without affecting their quality and up to a month inside the fridge.

If you need to store kiwi fruits for longer, then you need to peel and slice them up before storing them in the freezer. It is best to pre-freeze them in a single layer before transferring to a freezer-safe container to avoid them clumping together.

Cooking:

Heat application is not recommended for the kiwi fruit as exposure to heat destroys the kiwi structure and taste. The kiwi can be cooked down for glazes and marinades, but it will no longer be identifiable as kiwi.

Kiwi Fruits can be enjoyed raw, topped on ice cream, made into juices or smoothies, added into salads and salsa.

Nutrition:

The Kiwi Fruit, a furry little ball of nutrition

  • Carbs
    • Kiwi fruits contain a moderate amount of carbs per serving.
    • The Kiwi fruit also has a moderate glycemic index, which means that the consumption of the fruit may affect your blood sugar levels.
  • Fiber
    • Kiwi fruits are moderately high in dietary fiber with a 100g serving providing you with around 10% of the RDI
    • Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with them and flushing them out of the body.
    • Fiber also helps maintain gut health by binding with and flushing out toxins in the gut.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • The kiwi fruit is high in Vitamin C with just one fruit providing more than 100% of the RDI
      • Vitamin C has been proven to boost the immune system.
      • It has also been proven to fight the effect of stress and aging, as well as aid in wound healing.
      • One kiwi fruit has the same amount of Vitamin C as six ounces of orange juice, without all the sugar.
      • The kiwi fruit’s skin also contains a lot of Vitamin C!
    • A study shows that eating kiwi fruits can shorten the duration and intensity of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections.
    • Kiwis are also an excellent source of potassium. One small kiwi fruit has more potassium than a banana.
      • Potassium is essential in maintaining electrolyte and fluid balance.

When Is Kiwis in Season in Texas?

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  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • Oktober
  • November
  • December

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Kiwis in Texas Directly from the Producer