It’s time to get to know this new kid on the block: Kiwi Berries (hardy kiwis)

These pop-in-your-mouth miniature-kiwi-like fruit

are gaining popularity with the young and old, chefs and farmers.
They are now available (Sept 19th through October) at Monta Vista Market, in Cupertino.

Scroll down to see 3 Kiwi Berry recipes: watermelon soup, ginger spritzer and kale salad.

Lucky for us, Brandon at Monta Vista Market was able to get the first-of-the-season crop,
from Eugene, Oregon. He’s marked them down to $4.99 each (1/2 pint).

What are they, you ask?

(scroll down to read how to select, store, and eat’m, and see quotes from other websites)

Well, they are a fruit, they are the size of a grape, they feel like a grape (both in the fingers and in the mouth), but they look (inside) like –and tastes like– a kiwi, without the fuzz.

 

How to select, how to store and when and how to eat kiwi berries:

You’ll find them in markets in various stages from immature to ripe. They ripen really well after being picked, store at room temperature (and like all other fruits and veggies keep out of direct sunlight). Once they become ripe, put the clam shell container in the refrigerator crisper drawer where they will hold out for a few more days. I bought a 1/2 pint on Tuesday and all of them were firm. The next day about 1/3 of them were soft, and mighty delicious. Not too sweet. Not at all bitter. The next day, today, another 1/3 of them were edible. YUM.

On the outside:

  • The green varieties, which you’ll find at most markets here in Northern California, will stay pretty much the same color when unripe to when they are ripe, with a blush of red here and there.
  • The skin of the unripened fruit will be smooth and firm.
  • The skin of a ripe kiwi berry will be much like a ripe mango: leather-like and soft, and can have a few wrinkles.

On the inside:
The unripe fruit will be green, firm, crispy with very black seeds holding tight to a tough bitter center membrane.

The ripe fruit will be green, soft gel-like with the black seeds released from the center membrane suspended in the heavy pectin-like gel. The center membrane will be soft, almost tasteless.

Ladybug brand has pleanty of info on their website:

“Hardy kiwi are ready to eat when the skin darkens and, like a peach, it yields to gentle pressure. Either or both ends of the fruit may show some wrinkles or slight wizened marks that indicate they are ripe and ready to eat.”

Avoid fruit that oozes liquid, has a bloated look or has skin that has lost its elasticity. The fruit is picked at firm, low-sugar levels, and matures over the course of a week or so. Folks who enjoy a bit of tartness can eat them when firm. I prefer a mix of flavors, so I refrigerate some fruit and leave some on the counter. Then I mix a few of each into my hand for a lively snack.”

http://www.organicgrown.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=newsInfo&rowid=34


Kiwi Berry quotes and resources are below, but first, here are

Three Kiwi Berry recipes:

Kiwi Berry Watermelon Soup

Serves 2

In food processor, blend until just mixed and the pieces are small:

  • 10 kiwi berries, cut in half
  • 1 cup small diced watermelon (or strawberries)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (or coconut milk, or blended feta cheese with water, see below)

If using feta cheese and water: blend first in the food processor….

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup water, or more until smooth and creamy
…..then go to step one.
Garnish with chopped mint.

Kiwi Berry Ginger Spritzer

Serves 2

In blender, mix until smooth:

  • 10 kiwi berries, cut in half
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 2 cups mineral water

Best to remove the seeds before blending. Best to strain the liquid before serving.


Kiwi Berry Kale Salad

Serves 2

Toss well:

  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, thinly slice the leaves and marinate with juice of one lemon for 15 minutes (toss and squeeze often)
  • 10 kiwi berries, roundels (thinly-sliced rounds)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, roundels (thinly-sliced rounds)
  • 2 green onions, bulb, stalk and leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbls sesame seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 tbls tamari (or other soy sauce)
  • 1 tbls sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • Garnish with pumpkin seeds (toasted will be good)
Best to mix the minced garlic and ginger with the liquids and spice before adding to the salad.

Kiwi Berry quotes and resources:

“….referred to as Hardy kiwifruitkiwi berryarctic kiwibaby kiwidessert kiwigrape kiwinorthern kiwi, or cocktail kiwi and are edible, berry or grape-sized fruit similar to kiwifruit in taste and appearance, but are….”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardy_Kiwi


“….are also good in salsa or make pesto without the nuts. Just add a bit of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, onion, fresh ginger, fresh garlic grown locally, fresh pepper if you like it spicy, salt and in the blender. Spoon it on the rice, in the soup, on the salad or just eat it as is….”

http://www.facebook.com/NineStarRanch


 “One taste, and this fruit can sell itself.”

http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/09/how_do_you_use_hardy_kiwis_jus.html


Vitamin C – five times the Vitamin C of an orange. Vitamin E – twice that of an avocado with only 60% of the calories. Potassium – Higher per ounce than bananas.”

http://www.kiwiberry.com/nutrition.htm


How to grow, cultivate kiwi berries: