I love kiwifruit (also known as kiwi) for its fresh zesty flavor, texture and potent nutritional punch. And, wow, all that good stuff means so much more during the winter months when fresh produce with real life to it is tough to find.
Kiwis are native to New Zealand (they’re named after the country’s kiwi bird) but are grown plentifully around the world and have a wonderfully fresh fruity flavor that’s a cross between bananas, strawberries and pineapple. They’re rich in vitamins A, C and E, and their black seeds, when crushed or chewed, are an excellent source of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Ripe kiwis are slightly tender to the touch. Usually, though, the fruit comes to market under-ripe and very firm. As mentioned below, the easiest way to ripen under-ripe kiwis is to put them in a paper (not plastic) bag, close the top the way you would close a lunch bag, and keep the bag at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Just beware ripening takes at least a few days - sometimes more than a week.
Ripe kiwis are quick and easy to prepare. You’ll see two ways to do that here: half & scoop and peel, slice & chop. In the future, I’ll show how to use kiwi in different recipes. It’s all terrific stuff!
First, here’s how to ripen and prepare kiwis as quickly and easily as possible. As always, for easy to follow step-by-step picture book directions, click this link.
- Sharp Short Bladed (Paring) Knife
- Cutting Board
- Spoon (if you’re cutting the kiwi in half and scooping out the fruit)
- Paper Bag (if needed - to ripen under-ripe kiwis)
How to Check Ripeness and Ripen Kiwis
To check kiwis for ripeness, hold them in one of your hands between your thumb and forefinger, and press the kiwi skin with your thumb using a little more pressure than you’d use to grip a pen firmly. The kiwi is ripe if it feels slightly soft to the touch and has an indent where you squeezed it with your thumb. If, however, your kiwi is firm and doesn’t feel soft at all when squeezed, it is under-ripe. To ripen kiwis at home, put them in a paper bag (NOT plastic bag - plastic bags don’t allow for the air exchange needed for ripening; paper bags do), close the bag loosely, and store them out of direct sunlight at room temperature for a least a few days or longer. Check every other day or so for ripeness as shown in the photos above and store ripened kiwis in the refrigerator.
How to Prepare Kiwis
See the directions directly below to cut kiwis in half and then scoop and eat them out of their skin. See the directions further below to peel, slice and chop kiwis.
To eat a kiwi right out of its skin, cut it in half cross sectionally, then use a teaspoon to scoop and lift the fruit from its skin.
To peel, slice and chop a kiwi, first use a sharp short bladed (paring) knife to cut under and around the stem patch so that the tough stem end can be removed in a single cone-shaped piece.
Remove the kiwi skin by making shallow cuts just underneath the skin lengthwise down the kiwi side, making sure to remove the bottom patch opposite where the stem patch was.
Cut the skinned kiwi in half lengthwise. Cut each half again lengthwise into 2-3 slices, and then cut the slices in cross section into pieces 1/2 - 3/4 inch (12 - 20 mm) wide.