Discovering our food: kiwi

Hello my dear readers,

Another week is here, this means another opportunity to start enjoying our life πŸ™‚

This week, let’s discover the kiwi, a fruit that I love and eat every week 😊

Everything you need to know about kiwi_Popsicle Society

Impossible not to recognize the kiwi immediately with the classic brown skin and also a bit hairy and with the green pulp inside which encloses the small black seeds.

Kiwi origins_Popsicle Society

What are the origins of kiwi? The history of kiwi (Actinidia chinensis) was born in China more than seven hundred years ago, where already at the court of the Great Khan it was appreciated for the delicious taste and the emerald colored pulp.
The rest of the world began to know it only scientifically in the 1800s, when a collector of the Royal British Horticultural Society sent some fruits and seeds to his homeland.
But it is only in 1906 in New Zealand that kiwi cultivation began as an ornamental garden vine, when some missionaries returning home from China brought climbing plants called “Chinese Grape Thorn”.
Later, in the fifties, the scholar of horticulture Wright, after long and repeated experimental studies, succeeded in obtaining the first commercial variety. The New Zealanders, so proud of their new “fruit”, called him in 1995 with the name of the national country symbol bird: the kiwi.

Kiwi bird_Popsicle Society

Nowadays, its production concerns countries such as New Zealand, China, Chile and France with the first production country Italy, in particular Lazio, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont and Veneto regions.

The classic color of the kiwis we find on the market is green but there are also varieties that have yellow or red flesh. Luckily in Singapore I find them all πŸ™‚

Kiwi ambient & needs_Popsicle Society

Actinidia is the kiwi plant, a winter fruit of good taste and rich in vitamin C, particularly appreciated for the prevention of seasonal ailments.

The cultivation of actinidia is quite simple and can be carried out organically both professionally and privately. These climbing plants are of great ornamental value in gardens, often forming shady pergolas suitable for covering verandas and gazebos. Although its flowering is not particularly showy, the leaves on the other hand are very beautiful, large and shiny.

Actinidia is a lianiform species and in nature it climbs around the trunk of other trees because its stem is not able to bear the weight of the rest of the plant. In fact, in cultivation it is supported with properly prepared structures. The kiwi plant is also distinguished by being a dioecious species, in which the male and female flowers are found on different individuals. For this need to plant at least one male specimen every 6-7 females in order to guarantee fertilization and therefore fruit production.

Kiwi plantation_Popsicle Society

Kiwi is a species to be cultivated in temperate climates with mild winters. At vegetative rest, the actinidia can also withstand winter temperatures up to -15Β°C, but is very affected by late spring frosts and early autumn frosts that occur just before kiwi harvest and can compromise the fruits. However, this climber also has a certain need of cold, which does not make it possible to cultivate it in warm environments. Actinidia is also sensitive to the wind, which dehydrates the leaves in a way that is sometimes irreversible, and which can break the shoots, so where possible it is advisable to place a hedge or rows of trees as windbreaks.

Actinidia requires fertile soils, rich in organic matter, aerated and not subject to water stagnation. Also the alkaline pH and a high limestone content are negative factors that lead to the phenomenon of ferric chlorosis, recognizable with yellowing of the leaves due to the plant’s difficulty in absorbing iron.

The actinidia plant, although it does not tolerate water stagnation in the soil, still needs a lot of water especially from the flowering period, between May and July. It is necessary to provide for a localized drip or spray irrigation system to cope with moments of drought, bearing in mind that actinidia is sensitive to high levels of chlorine and sodium in irrigation water.

The kiwi plant has no particular enemies in nature and is rarely attacked by parasites. For this reason the fruits that we find on the market are usually not treated with chemicals. Other types of fruit instead, due to the weakness of the plant, are treated with dangerous pesticides.

Kiwis are harvested between October and November and from one plant in full production it is possible to harvest up to 30-50 kg of fruit.

Kiwi in cuisine_Popsicle Society

How to choose kiwi? If it is not consumed immediately, it is best to choose a hard fruit because its flesh will become sweeter if it ripens at room temperature.

To quickly ripen the unripe kiwis, simply close them in a plastic bag with two apples and then place them in a warm environment. The apples enclosed in the bag will release a gas called ethylene that is able to accelerate fruit ripening which will take place within two days.

The kiwi is a very versatile fruit because in addition to being used in tasty fruit salads, it is also used to accompany fabulous recipes based on meat and fish. Thanks to its properties, in fact, it is an excellent ingredient also for rich smoothies, centrifuges and of course a fundamental ingredient for tasty jams.

Kiwi is typically consumed fresh, but its precious characteristics make its use very appreciated also in the food and confectionery industry for the preparation of fruit juices, pulp, fruit salads and desserts; in the pharmaceutical industry with the use of pulp, flowers and gems for the preparation of anti-inflammatory and prebiotic products, in the cosmetics industry with the use of seed oil and pulp for the manufacture of shampoos, creams, nourishing and reconstituting lotions and soaps.

Often the kiwi is cut in two and the pulp extracted with a spoon, but you can also peel it. You can cut it straight into slices horizontally, into small pieces ready to eat for the children or use it in a fruit salad, on a fruit tart or with muesli.

To be honest, you can create endless variations with hot or cold kiwis: in appetizers, in main courses or for your desserts, for example: a tantalizing cocktail of kiwi as an aperitif, scampi with a refreshing kiwi sauce as main dishes, followed by a tajine of lamb and kiwi and, finally, an excellent kiwi ice cream, how does this sound?

One thing is certain: whatever the way you decide to eat kiwi, you will take a generous dose of delicious vitamins!

Benefits Kiwi_Popsicle Society

The properties present in large quantities are Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and in minor, iron, phosphorus and provitamin A.

  • The high content of Vitamin C is very important for strengthening the immune system
  • Ensures active and continuous protection against free radicals
  • Influences the metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids for energy
  • Regulates cardiac function, arterial pressure, improves blood circulation
  • The high content of potassium prevents digestive tract disorders and muscle cramps
  • Promotes iron absorption
  • Fights the fragility of capillaries
  • Soluble and insoluble fibers give a sense of satiety, lower cholesterol levels and control the value of glucose in the blood, improve food transit in the intestinal tract
  • It is an effective laxative, especially if consumed on an empty stomach in the morning
  • The seeds help to solve problems of constipation, water retention and alterations of gastro-intestinal function

According to recent studies published by the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition regular intake of these fruits can improve sleep quality.

Kiwi benefits_Popsicle Society

But there are categories of people who must refrain from consuming kiwi, those suffering from acute Crohn’s disease, ulcerative recticulitis, or those suffering from colitis or diverticular disease, or from diseases that impose a poor diet of fibers.
Furthermore, kiwi can cause cross allergy to bananas, peanuts, tomatoes and should be avoided in cases of allergy to composite.

For me, kiwi is a fruit that I eat every week and finding the green, yellow or red pulp, I love it as the taste is pretty different.

How about you? Do you like kiwi?

Thank you all for reading.

Join me next time and let’s discover Verona, Italy, known to most of us for the dramatic love story of Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet, but is also much more.

And if you would like to discover more about our food, you may enjoy my previous posts

Bye bye for now πŸ™‚

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56 thoughts on “Discovering our food: kiwi

  1. Hey Ribanna, Love to know about my one of Favourite fruit. It was shocking it got spread across world just 2 centuries ago. i never googled abt this fruit and it was so good to read it in your blog. and the benefits are very healthy. i’ll try to make this regular in my diet. Nice to know how they named it as ” the Kiwi” πŸ˜‰βœ¨πŸ‘Œ Hope your Monday is awesome already, wish you beautiful week ahead…πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Simon, I’m glad is one of your favorite fruits as is really delicious and has a lot of benefits πŸ™‚
      Yes, actually I think it really looks like the kiwi bird πŸ™‚
      Thank you always for stopping by and for your time and kind words!
      Wish you a happy and wonderful week as well! πŸ€—πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dorothy! I think nowadays people are trying as much as they can to grow the fruits and veggies without the use of pesticides, which is really very appreciated πŸ™‚ The only negative part is that comes with quite a huge difference in cost…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does cost more, and often because the produce is a little more pricey, I’ve noticed some markets will let it linger on the shelves past their prime which makes it look like they are inferior, and yet they don’t think twice about tossing the conventionally grown!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It took my ex and I a few months to come up with a name. We adopted him at 10&1/2 weeks old.
        We wanted to learn more about his personality has he grew. I had to feed him baby food in the beginning, but when switching over the seed food, he was fascinated by peanuts. He’s twirl them in his talons and make a giggle sound. Hense, that is how Peanut got his name. Plus he is very tiny for his breed. πŸ’—πŸ¦œ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So so cute 🦜 I guess was so lovely seeing his reaction to the peanuts πŸ₯œπŸ˜Š He found his favorite food πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‹ I think he loves a lot his name πŸ˜‰ Thank you Beckie! πŸ’•πŸ¦œ

        Liked by 1 person

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