There are over 50 species of fruit that belong to kiwi’s genus, but by far the most common variety is the Hayward, which is green-fleshed and covered with brown fuzz.
They have bronze skin and a pointed cap at one end. Inside, the flesh is mustard-colored. The texture, when firm-ripe, is similar to a green kiwi, but when fully ripe becomes almost custard-like. The flavor is multilayered and complex, blending lemon, strawberry, and banana.
This is one of several varieties of kiwi designed to withstand colder temperatures. Once only available to home gardeners, these small, smooth-skinned, grape-sized kiwis are becoming more commercially available. They are sold in the market as baby kiwis or grape kiwis. Their flavor is similar to other kiwis, with an intriguing blend of tart and sweet. They can be eaten skin and all.
Another type of kiwi designed to withstand colder temperatures, this variety is also called Arctic kiwifruit. It is smaller than the Hayward. Ounce for ounce, kolomikta kiwi’s vitamin C content is 10 times higher than that of Hayward kiwis.
-The kiwi is native to the Yangtze River valley of northern China and Zhejiang Province on the coast of eastern China. The first seeds were brought out of China by missionaries to New Zealand at the turn of this century. Early nurserymen in New Zealand, such as Alexander Allison, Bruno Just, and Hayward Wright, recognized the potential of the fruit and it soon became a popular backyard vine. Several plants were sent to the Chico Plant Introduction Station in California and exist to this date. In addition to New Zealand and California, kiwifruit is also grown commercially in such areas as Italy, South Africa and Chile.
-The oval, ovoid or oblong fruit is up to 2-1/2 inches long, with russet-brown skin densely covered with short, stiff brown hairs. The flesh, firm until fully ripe, is glistening, bright green or sometimes yellow, brownish or off-white, except for the white, succulent center from which radiate many fine, pale lines. Between these lines are scattered minute dark-purple or nearly black seeds, unnoticeable in eating. The flavor is sweet/tart to acid, somewhat like that of the gooseberry with a suggestion of strawberry.
- The most common species include Hayward (Actinidia deliciosa) Hardy Kiwi (A.arguta, A. kolomikta), Chinese Egg Gooseberry (A. coriacea), Red Kiwi (A. melanandra), Silver Vine (A. polygama), Purple Kiwi (A. purpurea).
-Fresh kiwi works well in many recipes including cocktails, gazpachos, meat dishes, salads, salsas, smoothies and more. Kiwi has been processed into products such as baked goods, candies, ice cream, jam, juice, puree, popsicles, as well as beauty products. Kiwi also freezes well, retaining much of its flavor (CA Kiwifruit Commission – Freezing Kiwifruit, n.d.).