The kiwifruit (or kiwi) is a fruit. It is the size of a large hens egg, and a is grown only in temperate climates. Kiwifruit flesh is said to taste and feel vaguely like strawberries, but with a strong green taste. When canned, kiwifruit become mushy and lose their color.
Raw kiwifruit is also rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme actinidin, which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer but can be an allergen for some individuals. Specifically, people allergic to papayas or pineapples are likely to be allergic to kiwifruit also.
This enzyme, which is quickly destroyed by boiling the fruit, makes raw kiwifruit unfit for use in desserts containing milk or any other dairy products. The enzyme will start to dissolve the milk proteins within a few minutes, leaving a very unpleasant bitter taste. However, sliced kiwifruit may be used as a garnish atop whipped cream as on one of New Zealand's favourite desserts, the pavlova, without ill effects.
- It should be noted that to a New Zealander, the kiwi is the flightless and endangered national bird. So, it is best to avoid talking about eating a kiwi with them. Also, kiwi is used as a general term for a New Zealander, that is another reason why they call the fruit the kiwifruit instead.