Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Furry Friends: Kiwis

I never ate a kiwi when I was growing up. Of course, back then, few people did because they were called Chinese gooseberries, and their furry appearance was slightly off-putting. Then, in the early 1960s, some marketing genius renamed them kiwi fruits and a star was born.

Kiwis are gorgeous to look at, and their fresh  color and taste makes them a natural for fruit salads, green salads, and garnish. However, these fruits contain an enzyme that can cause a few problems. One problem is that the enzyme reacts to dairy foods and to gelatin and starts breaking them down. So if you use kiwis combined with any dairy food, eat the combination immediately. And don't use raw kiwis in gelatin, or it won't set.

The other problem is that some people—mainly those with allergies to latex, bananas, and papayas— have an allergic reaction to kiwis. However, most people enjoy them with impunity.

Like strawberries, kiwis have a sweet-tart taste. Both fruits are also high in Vitamin C and potassium, so you can feel virtuous snacking on them. Kiwis pair up beautifully with avocadoes in salads. They also go well with most other fruits for dessert. I tend to buy several at a time. One, at least, I eat plain, first cutting it in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon.

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