New Arrival: Baby Kiwis

Miniature versions of vegetables are usually sweeter and more tender than their larger counterparts. Cherry tomatoes and baby corn and zucchini are all examples of this. Mini-fruit is less commonly seen, but one type that seems to be gaining popularity is the baby kiwi, or kiwi berries.

Always intrigued by new and interesting foods, and because I'm a huge fan of regular kiwis, I bought my first box of baby kiwis when they had just become available here, about six years ago. I was surprised and delighted by their taste and have sought them out ever since. Baby kiwis are about the size of a large grape and, unlike regular kiwis, are smooth, not fuzzy on the outside, so you can eat the whole thing without peeling it. Baby kiwis are also sweeter and less acidic than their larger counterpart and are only available twice a year– once from February to March and again from September to November. Once purchased, they should be eaten within a day or two as they get mushy pretty quickly.

I love eating them as they are, but have also used them raw to garnish cocktails and decorate fruit tarts, as well as pureed them and made into luscious sorbets with a fantastic, crunchy texture from the tiny black seeds. I have also cooked baby kiwis and find that when slicing them and quickly sauteeing them until soft, they make a nice topping for vanilla ice cream and are also great with meats that pair well with fruit like lamb or braised beef.

So, the next time you're out shopping for kiwis, remember that it's much easier to keep your eyes peeled for the babies, than it is to peel away that brown, fuzzy kiwi skin.