Fuzzy Fruit

Kiwifruit originated in China and were originally called sun fruit or Chinese gooseberry. Famers and importers decided that these long names would keep this tasty fruit from becoming popular so they renamed it for the natives of the land where it was cultivated — New Zealand.

Kiwis have a very short history. They were virtually unknown in the Western world until the mid-1900s. In the early 20th century the plants were exported to New Zealand where they began to gain popularity because of their delicious and distinctive taste. In 1952, the first shipment of kiwis went to England, where they became an immediate success. It didn’t take long for growers in California to realize that their climate was perfect for growing plump juicy kiwis. By 1970 the first crop grew in California and took the U.S. by storm. The speed at which they became popular is a testimony to their excellent flavor.

The most common kiwifruit are oval, about the size of a large egg. They have hairy, matte brown skin and bright green flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a distinctive flavor. The newer “golden kiwi” took over 10 years to cultivate. It has smooth skin and soft golden flesh. It is also sweeter than traditional green kiwis with fewer seeds.

Kiwis can be eaten raw or cooked in many dishes. The skin can be eaten as well, although most people tend to peel them. While it has many benefits, it is also one of the fruits people tend to be allergic to. Specifically, people allergic to latex or pineapples are likely to also be allergic to kiwifruit.

Enjoy kiwis by adding them to all your dishes, from appetizers to desserts

Grilled Chicken Breast With Kiwi Relish

For the relish:

3 kiwifruit, peeled, diced

1 orange, peeled, segmented, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced

1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the chicken:

4 chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil

Prepare the relish:

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; set aside to allow flavors to mingle.

Prepare the chicken:

Preheat grill or grill pan to high.

Butterfly open or pound chicken to half the original thickness. Sprinkle chicken breast with pepper. Brush lightly with oil. Grill chicken on one side for 4–5 minutes until browned. Flip chicken and grill the second side, 4–5 minutes.

Transfer to serving platter and dress with relish. Serve immediately.

Festive Kiwi and Summer Fruit Kabobs

For the glaze:

2 kiwifruit, peeled and cut in half

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the fruit skewers:

2 peaches or nectarines, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

8 kiwifruit, peeled and cut in half widthwise

8 strawberries, hulled (optional)

2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

8 wooden skewers

Prepare the glaze:

Purée kiwis, lemon juice, honey, ginger and cinnamon in food processor until smooth. Do not crush kiwifruit seeds; set aside.

Place fruit in large bowl. Pour puréed kiwifruit glaze over fruit and gently toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Prepare the kabobs:

Brush the grill rack with oil. Preheat grill to medium heat.

Arrange alternating fruit on skewers. Grill fruit over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, brushing with purée until light brown. Serve immediately, alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid tran=sgressions related to insects.