Mini-foods are almost always better than their full-size counterparts -- mini-corn dogs, mini-muffins, mini-giant dumplings, and mini-chimichangas, for example. Cuter, bite-sized, and somehow tastier. Fruit is the same way… just look how adorable cucamelons are!
It turns out that kiwis, the beloved tart fruit that's somehow codependent on strawberries for optimal flavor, have their own mini-version -- kiwi berries. They're real, and they’re fantastic.
They look like kiwis without the fuzz, except smaller!
What are they, exactly?
The technical name is Actinidia arguta, but like Diddy himself, they have plenty of other monikers: hardy kiwifruit, arctic kiwi, baby kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi, and cocktail kiwi.
They're somehow better than regular kiwis, too. A little sweeter, easier to pop in your mouth, and naturally without that annoying fuzzy skin found on the grown-up version. Kiwi berries are also packed with vitamin C -- more than an orange! -- plus vitamins A, E, B2, and fiber.
Where can I find them?
Although kiwis are in season during the winter and early spring, kiwi berries reach their peak in fall, mostly September and early October. But don't be disappointed if you can't find them at your farmers market or grocery store just yet; they're not all that common. Kiwi berries are native to Japan, Korea, Siberia, and Northern China, but grown domestically mostly in Oregon and Pennsylvania, with farms in New Jersey, Washington, and Maryland also popping up.
At the grocery store or farmers market, they usually come in the same little plastic containers that blueberries and raspberries come in. On the East Coast, the most popular version of kiwi berries are from Kiwi Berry Organics Co., and are branded "Passion Poppers." Who knew you could pop passion straight into your mouth in the form of a miniature kiwi?
What should I do with kiwi berries?
Hey, it's your life, don't let anyone tell you what to do. Baby kiwis are almost too cute to eat... almost. You could toss some in a fruit salad to surprise your friends, garnish a tropical cocktail with them, stare at them anxiously wondering if you should make a move -- pretty much anything you'd do with a big kiwi, minus the hassle of peeling.
So enjoy them while they're around, and don't forget to Instagram your sweet mini-fruit adventures. Because if you ate a kiwi berry, but didn't share the photo on social media, did it really happen?
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