People from New Zealand are often referred to colloquially as Kiwi’s, which is a sort of homage to the small flightless birds that are endemic to the island nation.
But, have you ever wondered why there is a small and furry berry that has the same English name? Well, it turns out it’s also because of the Kiwi bird. Who’d a thought? Right?
It’s because while kiwifruit, often shortened to just kiwi, is originally from China, the first country where its distribution was recorded and the first commercial plantings of the fruit occurred as well in the 20th century.
Since kiwifruit (or Chinese gooseberry) had a similar fuzzy appearance to the much loved national bird, New Zealand Chinese gooseberry growers began calling it “kiwifruit” for export marketing purposes.
Okay, etymology and history aside, if you’ve never eaten this interesting berry, you may be wondering, what does kiwi taste like? Well, it has a sweet and refreshing taste with a subtle amount of tartness.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this delicious fruit!
What Does Kiwi Taste Like?
The kiwi fruit is an exotic and refreshing fruit with a sweet flavor. Because kiwifruit has a high Vitamin C content, it also has a slightly acidic flavor.
However, the moderate acidity combined with the natural sweetness is truly fantastic and revitalizing. But, this isn’t always the case. The reason for this is that different species of kiwi have distinct flavors. Their flavors range from moderate sweet to sweetish with a hint of tanginess.
The most common variety of kiwi is the ‘grocery store kiwifruit‘, also known as ‘fuzzy kiwifruit’. Other varieties include the golden kiwifruit and the hardy kiwi.
The taste and flavor of kiwi are also affected by how ripe it is.
Unripe kiwi has a sour flavor and a hard texture. Unripe kiwi should not be consumed. The taste of ripe kiwi, on the other hand, is pleasantly sweet with a hint of acidity and a soft texture.
What is the Texture of Kiwi Taste Like?
If you’ve ever held a kiwi, you know it has a unique fuzzy texture on the outside. But it’s a good thing that it’s only the skin that has this texture.
In contrast to the outside, the inner green and white flesh is juicy, soft, and succulent. There is yet another contrast awaiting as the slightly crunchy little black seeds await every bite, making the experience of eating a kiwi all the more enjoyable. (If you can’t tell, I really like kiwis by the way).
However, while it’s suggested that you remove the skin before you eat kiwis, it’s not a requirement.
The skin is actually a rich source of vitamin c and fiber as well. The skin adds a similar texture to other fruits that you eat with the skin on like an apple or a peach.
But, for the best experience, I recommend using a toothbrush (or something similar) to rub the skin to get the excess hairs off.
What Tastes Similar to Kiwi?
Kiwis are a sweet, refreshing fruit with a pleasant acidity that balances out the sweetness. As the fruit ripens, the sweeter and less sour it becomes. This is similar to many other “exotic” fruits, that is, something slightly different from the apples, oranges, and bananas that we are accustomed to eating so frequently.
Kiwi fruit has a bright, tangy flavor with a tropical kick that is similar to pineapple. Kiwis also have a banana-like flavor to them that’s difficult to describe. It’s more noticeable in the aftertaste than on the tongue. This interesting combo makes it hard to beat a kiwifruit!
Some other fruits that taste similar to kiwi are dragonfruit, strawberry, and passionfruit.
Because the notes of kiwi fruit are quite similar to those of strawberries, they go well together and can occasionally be swapped for one another.
It’s tough to tell the difference between the texture and the flavor of kiwifruit and strawberries. They’re both extremely juicy fruits with a mouthful of tiny seeds in each bite. When young, both berries have a sharper sour flavor and grow sweeter as they develop.
Kiwi fruit has a more tropical flavor than strawberries, whereas strawberries have a more pronounced berry flavor. However, the sweet and tart balance, as well as the high water content, are similar.
What’s most similar to the kiwi about the dragonfruit is mostly its texture and firmness.
The tiny black seeds that are distributed throughout the meat are similar to those found in kiwi fruit. This gives the fruit a texture and firmness similar to kiwi fruit, as well as a flavor that is comparable but considerably milder.
Although they have a similar tropical flavor, dragonfruit is sweeter than kiwifruit and has little to no acidity.
Kiwis are often sweet and tart at the same time, depending on the variety.
Passionfruit is similar to kiwi, but it tastes more like a sweet and sour orange, whereas kiwi tastes more like a sweet and tangy lime.
Passionfruit has a similar luscious flesh to kiwi, however, it’s pulpier.
Is Kiwi Good for You?
The fuzzy kiwi is small but mighty. It has a lot of nutritious value for its small size. It’s largely utilized for medical purposes in China as vitamin C, K, and E are all abundant in kiwifruit. It’s also high in minerals such as folate and potassium, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Kiwi possesses qualities that can help maintain the human body’s overall wellness.
We know that fiber is beneficial to digestion. Because kiwifruit is high in fiber, it improves digestion. Not only does the fiber help, though, it also contains actinidin, a proteolytic enzyme that aids in the breakdown of proteins. Studies on a kiwi extract containing this enzyme have revealed that it’s capable of digesting a wide range of proteins.
Some other ways that kiwi is good for you are that may support immune function (due to the high vitamin content), it supports heart health and increases HDL (good cholesterol), and it’s rich in protective antioxidants. Lastly, it may alleviate symptoms of asthma because of the high amount of vitamin c and other antioxidant nutrients it has.
Best Uses for Kiwi
There are no shortage of uses of kiwi.
They can be eaten fresh, processed into juices, baked into treats, cooked with meat, or used as a garnish. Some of the most popular (and best) ways it’s consumed are as a component of a fruit salad, garnish on top of a pavlova cake, or as a tangy ingredient in a smoothie.
But, you can also use kiwi in some other more creative ways as well. It can be used to make a refreshing cocktail in the hot summer months.
Or if you’re feeling really creative when marinating chicken, beef, or pork, you can purée the kiwifruit and add it to a marinade to get a unique tangy, citrus flavor.
How to Tell if Kiwi Has Gone Bad
Unlike other fruits that are a bit more hearty (bananas, watermelon, apples, and oranges, for example) kiwi can go bad a bit quicker, particularly if you don’t keep it in the fridge. It will only last about six days if it’s left out at room temperature. So, if you’ve accidentally left them out for a few days, it’s good to check to see if they’ve gone bad.
Checking for spoilt kiwifruit is similar to checking for spoiled fruit or vegetables. Keep an eye out for the following:
- The texture has been altered. Throw aside the fruit if it’s extremely soft, mushy, or begins to ooze.
- It has an unpleasant odor. Get rid of it if it smells acidic rather than lemony. Please keep in mind that this is a rare occurrence.
- The appearance of dark spots. It’s usually fine if merely the skin has darkened because you’ll chop it out either way. However, if the pulp darkens as well, it’s probably time to discard it. Alternatively, you can take out the off part (and then some) and consume the rest, as we do with most vegetables. If you choose the second option, you do it at your own risk.