Kiwi is a fruit that originated in China and was later brought to New Zealand. It has since become popular all over the world, owing to its unique taste, texture and health benefits. However, the tricky part is knowing when the kiwi is ripe and ready to be eaten. In this article, we will explore the different ways of determining the sweetness of kiwi and when it’s safe to consume.
The Sweet Spot of a Kiwi
A kiwi fruit has a sweet spot, also known as the ripening point, where it’s perfectly sweet and juicy to eat. When a kiwi is under-ripe, it’s hard, sour and lacks the natural sweetness. On the other hand, when it over-ripens, it becomes too soft and mushy, losing its natural flavour. Here are some telltale signs to look for when determining if a kiwi is ripe.
Firmness of the Kiwi
The firmness of a kiwi is the first sign of ripeness. An under-ripe kiwi is firm and can be very hard to cut or peel. An over-ripe kiwi, however, is too soft and the skin might feel wrinkled, with some browning visible on the surface. The perfect kiwi should be firm but not hard to the touch.
To check the firmness of the kiwi, gently press your fingertip against the skin’s surface to see if it gives a little. If it does, it’s most likely just right.
Colour of the Kiwi
Another factor to consider when determining the ripeness of a kiwi is the colour. Kiwis that are still green are under-ripe, so it’s best to wait a few more days before consuming them. When a kiwi begins to ripen, it starts turning yellow or gold at the stem end, which is an indication of sweetness.
It’s important to note that not all kiwis will change their colours. Some varietals remain green, but they will still develop the sweetness or ripen from the inside of the fruit.
Texture and Appearance of a Kiwi
The texture and appearance of the kiwi can also give useful clues in determining the ripe stage. A ripe kiwi feels slightly soft to the touch and has a smooth, wrinkle-free skin. If you notice brown spots or wrinkles on the kiwi’s surface, it could be a sign that the fruit is over-ripe.
It’s always advisable to trust your senses when examining the kiwi’s texture and appearance. Ensure that the surface is smooth and undamaged, and the fruit feels slightly soft to the touch.
The Smell of a Kiwi
Kiwi also gives off a pleasant aroma when ripe, much like other fruits. When the kiwi reaches its peak ripeness, you can smell a nice fragrance, which tells you it’s ready to eat.
To check for the smell, hold the kiwi up to your nose and take a whiff. If it smells fresh and distinctly sweet, it’s likely ripe and ready to eat.
How to Accelerate Kiwi Ripening
If you have bought a bag of under-ripe kiwis or want to hasten the ripening process, you can employ tricks to accelerate the process. Here are a few methods to try:
1. Paper Bag Trick:
Take your kiwis and place them inside a brown paper bag. Roll the top of the bag so it’s secure, and then place in a warm, dry spot like a pantry or cupboard. The heat will speed up the ripening process since kiwis release natural ethylene.
2. Enclosing Kiwi with Fruits:
When you have other fresh fruits or vegetables handy, you might try enclosing the kiwis in a container with an apple or banana. The ethylene gas released from the apples will ripen the kiwis evenly.
3. Room Temperature:
Simply leave the kiwi at room temperature and wait out the ripening process. When it becomes soft to the touch, it’s most likely sweet and fragrant to eat.
How to Store Ripe Kiwis
Once a kiwi reaches its peak ripeness, it’s essential to store them correctly to preserve its quality and freshness. Here’s how to store ripe kiwis:
If you want to store your ripe kiwis for a more extended period, put them in a refrigerator. This will slow down the ripening process and help maintain the fruit’s natural sweetness for up to a week.
Freezing ripe kiwis is a simple and effective way to preserve their freshness. After peeling the fruit, make slices out of the kiwi, put them in freezer bags or containers, and freeze them. Kiwi will last in the freezer for up to a month.
In summary, determining when a kiwi is ripe requires attention to detail and keen observation. You can take advantage of the fruit’s texture, colour, smell and firmness to determine whether the kiwi is ready to eat. Additionally, storing ripe kiwis properly will help maintain the freshness and quality of the fruit.
Here are some common questions and answers on how to know when kiwi is ripe.
Q. Can an under-ripe kiwi ripen after being picked?
A. Yes, an under-ripe kiwi can ripen after being picked. To hasten the ripening process, use any of the methods described above.
Q. How do you ripen kiwis in a day?
A. To ripen kiwis in a day, put them in a bag with an apple or banana, or leave them outside in a warm and dry spot.
Q. How can you tell if a kiwi is bad?
A. When a kiwi is bad or spoilt, it might have a sour or fermented odour and appear too soft or too hard. Avoid consuming such fruits.
Q. How much time can you keep kiwi fruit at room temperature?
A. Kiwis can stay fresh at room temperature for up to a week when they are ripe.