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Maine Kiwi…Who Knew?

My boyfriend and I went out to help his dad pick apples from his trees in Greenfield on Saturday. We had a great day and while there I was introduced to the Maine Kiwi. About the size of a green grape these vines grow huge and grab onto every tree within their reach.  And the fruit? there was a boat load and it tasted just like the down under version without the fuzz.

Of course just because this was news to me lots of folks know about the joys of the Maine kiwi. In fact the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association says of these tasty little devils:

Actinidia arguta, the species most commonly referred to as hardy kiwi, is zone 4 hardy and includes many cultivars that produce delectable fruit. Almost everyone who tastes this species says it’s more delectable than the fuzzy kiwi, being sweeter but otherwise similar.

Firm fruit may be stored at refrigerator temperature for up to eight weeks, or perhaps longer. When placed at room temperature, they will ripen to perfection within a few days, so you can remove them from cold storage as desired. Properly ripened fruit will yield to light pressure between thumb and finger, will still have opaque skin, and will be indescribably sweet and delicious. When the skins begin to be translucent, they are starting to go by. These deteriorating fruit are still edible, but they lose flavor and their texture becomes less appealing. Even in cold storage, fruits will gradually ripen to perfection. If you have more than you can eat fresh, they make wonderful jam, preserves and juice, and frozen puree (skins removed with a food mill) is very useful.


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