Exotic influence: Kiwifruit
In 1980 New Zealand kiwifruit hit New York for the first time. They cost one US dollar each and were celebrated hugely “in tart after tart, fruit salads, savoury salads and sauces lending an algal tinge to beurre blanc,” according to The New York Times. It was everywhere and even featured on the back of cake mix boxes. Kiwifruit became ‘cultish’. After three years the Times declared it passé.
However, what our kiwifruit did do was open the eyes and awaken the palates of New Yorkers to other new fruits from distant lands and to foods that weren’t familiar. Chefs embraced the ‘different’, bringing an exotic new world to the restaurant scene. In turn home cooks experimented with new menu offerings.
Today many consumers take advantage of the health benefits the kiwifruit possesses and eat it just halved and scooped. Kiwifruit contains antioxidants that attack free radicals that damage vital cells; it has a high level of vitamin C which helps with the healing of wounds; and it contains vitamin E, beneficial if you are feeling stressed, physically or mentally.
However, to my mind, kiwifruit is still an important ingredient in today’s modern dishes.