Regular Kiwis vs. Hardy Kiwis (Baby)

A few years ago, Hungry Bear and I were shopping at the University District Farmers Market in Seattle where we stumbled upon hardy kiwis (a.k.a. baby kiwis) for the first time. These miniature kiwis are the size of a large grape (about 1 inch long) with an edible, fuzzless skin.

According to CFRG, baby kiwis are native to northern China, Korea, Siberia and Japan. When fully dormant, the vines can withstand temperature drops to -25°F, hence the name hardy kiwis. They vary in color from green to purple. In the States, the growing season starts in June and the fruit is harvested between September and November. That's the short version of the agricultural lesson. I'll spare you the rest.

In addition to seeing them in Seattle, we found hardy kiwis in the Columbus Circle Whole Foods (NYC) and more recently at our local Trader Joe's. We were stoked to find them in San Francisco, even though they were imported from New Zealand. I'd prefer them locally grown, but I couldn't pass up the baby kiwis.

There are a few things I don't do in life and one of them is peel fruit. I attribute this phenomena to my mom spoiling me and always cutting fruit for me (even to this day). Hungry Bear hates this fact and she begrudgingly puts up with my no fruit peeling policy.

Needless to say, I love hardy kiwis. They are sweeter and more flavorful than regular kiwis with a slightly sour skin. They are a great pop-in-your-mouth, healthy snack. And it's the perfect kiwi for us no peeling fruit eaters!

Bowls of Hardy Kiwis and Kumquats

[tags]kiwi, fruit, kumquats, baby, hardy kiwi, baby kiwi, whole foods, trader joes, farmers market[/tags]

24 Comments on “Hardy Kiwis (Baby Kiwis) – Small and Fuzzless”

  1. canarygirl said:

    Oh my! These sound so good! I have never seen Hardy Kiwis before. Cool beans—or should I say, cool fruits! :)

  2. After a visit to New Zealand many years ago, I began to eat kiwis like they do — skins and all. Now you’re telling me I can eat the skin without the fuzz? Wow! Will have to look for these on my next trip to Trader Joe’s in Boston.

  3. brilynn said:

    I’ve never seen those before, they sound fantastic!

  4. Kevin said:

    Those fuzzless kiwis look really interesting.

  5. Wow…I’ve never seen these before, not even at the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. Now I’ll be on the look-out!

  6. OMG, you’re too spoiled! I hope Hungry Bear’s begrudgingly putting up with your no-peeling fruit policy isn’t b/c you make her peel them for you. Or is it you won’t allow must peel fruit in the house? Either way, I’m feeling some sympathy for the poor gal. :P

    BTW, I’ve seen the small kiwis down here too. I’d ask if you tried the golden kiwi but that’s fuzzy and needs to be peeled so you probably haven’t. ;) Although you know, you can slice the kiwi in half and scoop it out with a spoon.

  7. Stephanie said:

    I found baby kiwis at a produce vendor on the sidewalk in New York this past fall. They’re delicious — I liked them even better than regular kiwis — but if I ate more than three at a sitting, I got a weird tight, scratchy feeling at the back of my throat. Weird only because I don’t have any other food allergies.

  8. Chuck said:

    canarygirl, they are quite cool!

    Lydia, yep, easy-to-eat, fuzz-free skin.

    brilynn and Kevin, hardy kiwi is my favorite new fruit find in the last several years.

    AppetiteforChina , we bought them last September at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods.

    WC, sounds pathetic doesn’t it? I just don’t like peeling fruit. Any and all fruits are allowed in the house, but Hungry Bear knows I won’t volunteer and peel them. Don’t feel too bad for Hungry Bear, she gets fed pretty well. ;-)

    Stephanie, strange? Are you taking off the little end bit?

  9. Jen Yu said:

    I’ve seen these at TJs before and never tried them (then we moved away and I could kick myself!). They look great. On a side note, I can understand HB’s frustration with your peeling-requirement ;) That’s silly, Chuck!

  10. Hillary said:

    Oh wow! Thanks for the pictures – these are beautiful! Kiwi in general is just so photogenic and delicious :)

  11. hungry bear said:

    wandering chopsticks and jen yu, thanks for your support! this no fruit peeling thing is crazy. it’s time for an intervention!

  12. Haha! Hungry Bear,
    Should we tie Chuck up and force him to peel fruit? Or tie him up and force him to eat unpeeled fruit? He’ll hate it so much, he’ll voluntarily peel fruit from then on? ;)

  13. hungry bear said:

    Wandering Chopsticks, I like the way you think!!!

  14. allan said:

    what is the orange fruit in the background? are thsoe kumquats?

  15. Chuck said:

    Allan, yep, they’re kumquats.

  16. love the new header! and this pic of kiwi – so bright and vivid!

  17. Sarah said:

    These look great….although I must add that I always eat the fuzzy skins……

  18. Jacki said:

    i get the same scratchy feeling when i eat kiwi too!

  19. Vivian said:

    Have you ever tried the golden kiwis from New Zealand? Flesh inside is yellow, I find it sweeter and more fragrant than the regular ones. Best of all, I’m not allergic to the yellow ones lilke I am with the green ones.

  20. Tish said:


    Is it possible to get these in Texas?

    I want some. I love Kiwi.

  21. jj said:

    i just had a weicked allergic reaction to eating one of these small fuzzless kiwi’s, given to me at a local cafe where everything is local grown, maine. haven’t had an allergic reaction to anything like this in years. took two benadryl and feeling a little better.

  22. Tata said:

    The skin on a regular kiwi is also edible and high in vitamin C.

  23. Daaaaan said:

    I actually own 2 of these hardy kiwi vines! We had a really cold winter up here i MA and they are back! I havent gotten fruit yet, hopefully they will be mature enough this year,

  24. Sheila said:

    I live in Ontario and was given these vines off of a friend’s mature vines, he gave me both male & female and this year they are going nuts growing, so I am so hoping that I will have my little kiwi on my own vine. I am so excited, because I think they are starting to look like they are getting the flowers, I just hope that both the male & female vines matured. I have heard that the new spieces you can buy now you don’t need a male & female variety.
    Wish me luck! Thanks for sharing you Bears LOL

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