Kiwifruit, or kiwi, is the edible berry of plant, Actinidia deliciosa, native to northern China (in fact, it is also called Chinese gooseberry). The New Zealanders were the first ones to import the fruit from China, and re-named it “kiwifruit” because of its resemblance to the local kiwi bird.
Kiwifruit didn’t spread in Italy until the end of XX century, but was an immediat hit. In fact, nowadays we are among the first producers and exporters worldwide, thanks to cultivation in Veneto, Piemonte and Latium.
In nature there are different varieties of Kiwifruit, of which just two are cultivated and commercialized here in Italy. So we have a Kiwifruit production from November to June: during the other months we have to import them. novembre a giugno; negli altri mesi dell’anno, invece, li compriamo d’importazione. The main variety we cultivate gives an oval berry with hairy skin and green pulp The second one gives longer berries with hairless skin and yellow pulp. Both of them have similar size and weight.
Nutritionally speaking, a helping, that is to say about 2 berries, has about 88 kcal, mainly because of carbohydrates, above all fructose. Kiwifruit has a high content og water, fiver, potassium, vitamin C (even more than oranges!), and omega 3, so a regular comsumption can help reducing blood triglyceride levels. It also contains flavonoids and actinidain, which may produce irritation and be an allergen for some people.
In cooking, Kiwifruit is above all eaten plain, for its juicy and bright-colored pulp. Its strong color make it perfect to garnish cakes and desserts and give them a strong aestesthetic effect. Kiwifruit is also appreciated in juices and fruit salad.