Tuesday, September 25, 2012

kiwi berries

In an effort to eat more locally grown foods at home, Jon and I started getting our fruits and vegetables from South Mountain Veggies, a service that delivers fresh produce from farms in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Jon and I stick to the "small bag" (it's just the two of us right now, after all), which includes the usual suspects of what's in season at the moment--potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, green beans, and the like. This week, however, our bag included a real humdinger: kiwi berries.

Kiwi berries?? It was the first time in many, many years I had come across a fruit I'd never seen or eaten before. I mean, I thought currants were cool and offbeat in the third grade, and those large Asian pears were a real novelty in middle school, and I'm not even going to bring up the produce I saw for sale along Canal Street when I was living in New York. But, lo, here in the bag of locally sourced food dropped on our suburban Arlington doorstep was a grape-sized, fuzz-free, baby kiwi. Crazy.
A little bit of Googling later, I learned that the kiwi berry, also called the hardy kiwi, grows on a hanging vine and has a green edible skin. The fruit should be stored at room temperature, is ripe when slightly wrinkled, and the whole thing can be popped in your mouth "like a grape," as so many websites advised. Well, I'll be darned. There was nothing left to do than rinse a few off and try 'em out ... And now I'm here to report kiwi berries are more tart than grapes, more mild than pomegranate seeds, and, well, taste just like a regular ripe kiwi. In short, good! If you see any at the store, pick them up. Betcha your kids will find them trippy-cool--especially if you say they're kiwis shrunk by aliens ;) Tomorrow I'm going to use a few to liven up some Greek yogurt. Happy eating.