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Grilled Kiwi (Yes!)

Updated on October 24, 2020
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Lee has a degree in philosophy, but when cooking, Lee is more like an experimental scientist than an abstract thinker. Loves new ideas.

For dessert (Option B)

Technically, the name is kiwifuit, all as one word. But people nowadays generally drop the "fruit" and just say "kiwi."

Originally, it was Chinese Gooseberry, and the name has been through a number of other variations in its history. This uncertainty and variation is somewhat like the fruit itself, named after a most intriguing New Zealand bird that creeps silently about in the middle of the night .

Not so long ago this fruit with its distinctive semi-sweet flavor and unusual texture was very hard to find. Nowadays it sits right there in the supermarket fruit section. But what do you do with a kiwi?

One good answer is -- Grill it!

But that is an easier answer than it appears. We have learned a thing or two in grilling this fruit, so read on here as if this were a sort of lab experiment, because that is exactly what this is. And there's a reason this section is headed "Option B".

An unusual cut

The usual cut is into disks.

We could try that, grilling the disks -- particularly if they were thick enough to survive on the grill, rather than the very thin disks we usually see.

But halving them vertically is really the way to go on a grill.

However, there are some things that need to be done at this point which we only learned later. See below.

On the grill - easiest way

The kiwi is a sturdy little fruit. That makes it easy to handle on a grill. Just plop the halves face down on a preheated grill and leave them there for as much as four or five minutes.

Then turn them over, using tongs (easiest) or a metal spatula.

Let's go back to that "sturdy" word. Like almost all fruits these days, kiwis are put on the market shelves before they are ripe. Ripening can take a couple of days or up to a week. We were in a hurry here and used ones not fully ripe, counting on the grill to hurry the process up at least a little. But if the kiwis have gone through their week (particularly in a paper bag), some of the points mention below may be easier to deal with.

Same now on the other side

They already look great -- good enough to eat!

Another four or five minutes on this side. Then tong them off onto a cutting board.

Why a cutting board?

Why the cutting board

Here come the things we've learned along the way.

First, the kiwi has a somewhat tough skin which has to be removed at some point before eating. This is harder than it might seem. If we cut off the stem end -- slightly -- and the opposing end, it then becomes much easier to deal with the skin. This could have been done before halving the kiwis of course, and that is possibly better, though my impression is that the grilling loosens the connection between fruit and skin a bit..

Second,The kiwi has a fibrous core, evident in this photo. That, too, has to be removed. Again, this could have been done just after halving the kiwis, but in this case it is just as easy, maybe easier, to do the removal after grilling.

Core removal

We want to remove the fibrous material which lies at the very center of the kiwi, but not dig so deeply into the kiwi in order to do this that we lose the flesh we want.

A little practice helps, and in fact we didn't do too badly on this first try. Fortunately.

The skin can also be peeled off at this point, or it can be left on for the diner to deal with.

For dessert (Option A)

This is option A because it presents us with a most elegant dessert.

The perfect pairing for a kiwi is raspberry sorbet. The two flavors were just made for each other: they at one and the same time contrast each other and complement each other.

Novel and interesting -- and delicious!

Here both core and skin have been removed before serving.

Here's that Option B again

The alternative to serving a beautiful skinned, cored, grilled kiwi half with a luscious lump of raspberry sorbet is to leave a certain challenge to the lucky person about to dig in. Serve this person a beautiful unskinned, uncored, grilled kiwi half with a luscious lump of raspberry sorbet -- and let the salivating eater do the work of skinning and coring what is right there in the bowl.

It is the simple way out, but actually some people prefer "participatory" eating, so the challenge to them would be a welcome one.

Anyway, it's an option. For a kiwi.

Parting facts

Nutritional aspects.

Kiwis contain significant vitamin C, a single fruit having about the full Daily Recommended Intake. They also have carotenoids, potassium, vitamin E, and at least one type of omega-3 fatty acid (blood thinners). There is also a protein-dissolver -- the enzyme actinidin, which can be used as a meat tenderizer. Some people are allergic to this and in general it is not a good fruit to mix with milk products, though quick consumption

largely overcomes this (whipped cream is often used with kiwis in New Zealand desserts). (Most kiwis now come from Italy, incidentally).

Real meal

Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.


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