Turns out that the Kiwi Fruit has a little cousin, the kiwi berry. These smaller sized fruits are packed with nutrients, easy to eat with edible skins, and…fuzz-free!
Last year while attending the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California, I happened upon and wrote about the kiwi berry. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find them in local markets to learn more about this super fruit and try them out on my taste buds again.
This smallish fruit is the shape and size of a grape, or at first glance may even resemble an olive. Becoming more commercially available, these berries are also known and referred to as baby kiwi, Hardy kiwifruit, arctic kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi, northern kiwi, and cocktail kiwis.
Kiwi berries are naturally smooth and fuzz-free. They can be eaten whole without having to peel its thin-skinned exterior and can be sweeter than the kiwifruit if allowed to properly ripen. There are several varieties of kiwi berries, each with a slightly different shape, flavor, and exterior color.
A smaller variety of the kiwi fruit, kiwi’s little cousin grows wild in parts of China and can also be found in north-eastern Siberia, Korea, and Japan. For consumer use, most kiwi berries are grown in the U.S., New Zealand, and Chile.
Kiwi berries are the most nutrient-dense of all major fruits. They pack nearly 20 vital nutrients and are considered a “super fruit.”
Very rich in Vitamin C and naturally low in Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium, Kiwi berries are also high in Fiber and a great source of Potassium, rich source of Vitamin E and Magnesium.
The Kiwi berry is in season now. With a rather short season of availability, look for it during the U.S. months of Spring and Fall – February, March, April, September, October and November. Find them in the produce section of markets where other berries are sold and packaged in clamshell containers.
Let the berries ripen at room temperature. Their skin will begin to turn darker green and are ready for eating when they are softer to the touch. When they are ripe, store in the refrigerator to extend the life and edibility of the berry.
Due to their portable and cute size, they’re easy and convenient to eat and a tasty treat to pack in lunchboxes!
Not just for garnishing, great for salads, smoothies, parfaits, and a fresh addition to desserts. I’m even thinking about appetizers, salsas, sangria, mixed drinks and adding to iced tea! Wouldn’t these be novel used in jams and jellies? I’m thinking kiwi berry fillings for French macarons!
In my next post about kiwi berries, I’m going to share some inspiration about how to use these cute little kiwi berries…stay tuned! A special thank you to Melissa’s Produce for generously sharing a sampling of these beautiful kiwi berries/baby kiwis to feature and share with readers on Teenie Cakes.