Why I May Never Peel a Kiwi Again: A Controversial Stance

July 26, 2018

A few years back, I asked one of my best friends to bring a fruit salad to a potluck. She did not skimp. Not a 100% cantaloupe sort of situation (we all know that fruit salad), this mélange was Platinum Level: There were berries (!), grapes (!), and pineapple, too. May there have been cherries? I imagine so!

But the kiwi chunks gave the whole party pause—because the brown skin, with its stubbly fuzz, remained on each and every piece. Having been conditioned to accept only completely bald kiwi pieces, the majority of us laughed at this friend, who didn't even know to peel the kiwi. Had she ever eaten a kiwi? What nonsense! What naiveté! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Turns out we mockers were the ones who deserved to be laughed out of the room. Because kiwi skins are perfectly edible. You can bite right into a kiwi like it's an apple or a peach or, if you're this kind of person, a tomato! (My brother has even been known to do this with a red bell pepper.)

I attacked this kiwi. And it was excellent.

When I informally polled the Food52 team to see which of us peel our kiwis, I received a mix of responses: Emily has gone her entire life without ingesting the fuzz, while Grace" literally never knew kiwis were supposed to be peeled." ("You think you understand the world and then your life is flipped-turned-upside-down by a kiwi," expressed a Food52er who shall remain anonymous.)

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But yes, you can eat a kiwi "out of hand" (an expression we like to reserve for stone fruit season) and let the green juices drip down your chin. (Green juice is so in right now, is it not?) Kiwis, when you don't peel them, will give bananas a run for their money: Stick a kiwi in your bag, then chomp into it before you hit the gym or during your commute home.

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Top Comment:
“Kiwi fruit looks just like the bird) As a New Zealand kid I always ate the skin, these days I just cut them in half and scoff the insides. New Zealanders also refer to themselves as 'Kiwis', after the bird, NOT the fruit.”
— Kiwi G.

No utensils necessary. No need to "sloop" while you drive. Will you ever take a paring knife or a vegetable peeler to a kiwi again? (The exception: elaborate fruit tarts.)

I know kiwi skin is edible because I've consumed several whole kiwis at this point, but also because I believe Dan Nosowitz, who professed his love for consuming kiwi skin (and the peels of other fruits and vegetables often falsely deemed "inedible") for The Awl back in 2014.

The kiwi is better with its skin than without it. The skin isn’t just edible, it’s one of my favorite parts of any fruit.
Dan Nosowitz, The Awl

Dan recommends removing a bit of the fuzz before biting in: Simply run the kiwi under water, then use a paper towel, dish towel, or your fingernails (particularly satisfying) to scrub off some of the prickle.

Sure, a bit of bristle may remain but, as Dan reasons, "how many people reading this post have a beard or enjoy kissing people with beards or both?"

Nothing to see here, folks.

And he says that unless the peel of a fruit is classified as inedible—we're talking mango, passionfruit, pineapple, lychee, avocado, or dragonfruit, according to Dan—well, then, "you should eat it." Leave your eggplants, your potatoes, your carrots, and your apples be!

And that watermelon rind? Turn it into jam.

Something else a little fruity

Do you peel kiwis? What about potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and carrots? Tell us in the comments below!

This article was originally published in June 2017, but we're sharing it again because we can't get enough kiwi!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • judy
  • gdg26
  • okaybusgirl
  • Angie
  • Kiwi Girl
    Kiwi Girl
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


judy September 10, 2021
Well, when I found out the skin was edible, I too began eating it--as long as the kiwi was organic. Same with most else. Not a fan of banana skin, pineapple skin, melon or citrus skin pith or pomegranate. Otherwise, I leave most. fruits and veggies with skin on. Apples, stone fruit--even in pies, certainly potato skin always on. To each his own. Even cucumber in tzatziki. Not traditional I guess, but just under the skin is where all the nutrients are....
gdg26 July 26, 2021
Not peeled many fruit & veggies for 40+ years. Celery and carrots tops etc get blitzed and put in soups. Even leave onions and garlic skins on unless l want a pale soup. Peel citrus, pineapple but use rind/peels elsewhere. Discard into compost avocado pip and skin (but know folk who blitz these too for smoothies). Skin cantaloupe, watermelon but not much else. Many tell me l am a good cook but l don’t tell them that they are eating the skins. Grandma’s old saying, “ what the eye can’t see, the heart don’t grieve” applies.
okaybusgirl April 8, 2021
I was so happy when I found out I could eat kiwi skin and now I always do! As others have said, easier, less mess, and less waste.

But wait—-I thought you could eat mango skin and I’ve been eating it since I saw them eating it on Lost! 😳 also as the Kiwi said, but about mango—the best stuff is just under the skin!
Angie September 17, 2018
Shudder, I'm allergic to kiwi, (it has to do with my latex allergy) even more so to the skin. If it's peeled I can pick it out of fruit salad and eat the rest but the skin infects the entire dish.
Kiwi G. July 29, 2018
New Zealand exports a lot of Kiwi Fruit. They are named after the much loved, flightless, endangered New Zealand bird, the Kiwi. (Kiwi fruit looks just like the bird)
As a New Zealand kid I always ate the skin, these days I just cut them in half and scoff the insides. New Zealanders also refer to themselves as 'Kiwis', after the bird, NOT the fruit.
BerryBaby July 29, 2018
There is a kiwi producer that sells 6 kiwi to a container and they include a kiwi spoon. It is a terrific utensil and no mess eating the juicy kiwi. Did you know kiwis come in two colors? Green,of course, and yellow flesh. I found the yellow to be sweeter with less tang.
Linda N. July 26, 2018
I haven’t peeled a kiwi ever since my teens, and that was a long time ago! Lol My favourite way to eat that delicious fruit is washed and sliced and eaten with a dessert fork.😉
Magdalena R. July 26, 2018
Nope, not since realising that the skins were edible a few years back. So much easier to prepare. Less mess !
Maria C. March 14, 2018
I’m a kiwi, never peel kiwi fruit. The good stuff is in the skin.
Marie J. March 13, 2018
My hubby bites into kiwis too. I’ve always been the cut & scoop-type. Didn’t know you could peel zucchinis! And I don’t peel potatoes and carrots most of the time, because most of the vitamins are in or just below the skin. But I ALWAYS eat choose organic. The thought of eating fruit and vegetables full of pesticides.. ugh! I mean, that kinda counterbalances the whole idea of it being healthy...
Villeinesse January 25, 2018
How, oh how could a singular article about the edibility of a kiwi skin neglect the hugely important nutritional fact that the skin provides even more fiber than the rest of the fruit?
Jennifer July 6, 2017
Do other readers have access to organic kiwis? I don't recall seeing them. Like lemons, I think I'd only eat skin/rind of organic specimens.
Trish R. June 23, 2017
Why do the labels kiwis come with always warn to wash VERY well? This always makes me paranoid about the skins.
Christina S. June 22, 2017
I wonder how pesticides, etc. clean off the fuzz...
NNa E. March 13, 2018
According to EWG, Kiwi is one of the 15 clean.
Jennifer March 13, 2018
Right, but presumably that is because most people cut away the skin, no?
Barb June 22, 2017
I can't even bite into a whole peach because of the fuzz, I'll keep scooping my kiwis too, thanks so much.
Erin P. June 22, 2017
We do the cut and scoop. Super easy and less mess!
Barbara L. June 22, 2017
I love eggplant but I peel it.I think the skin makes it bitter.The seeds do too.
Beab June 22, 2017
I am a New Zealander and, apart from my mother who used a teaspoon to scoop out the flesh, we have always eaten the peels. And they used to be much hairier than they are today. Full of nutritional goodness.
Ignacio T. June 22, 2017
The mango skin is inedible! It's new news for me. If you can get mangoes totally ripe, that is totally yellow or yellow-red and not green. Get them without insect bites black spots.
Give it a try. I've done this since kindergarten.
Rewrite your list of inedible fruit skins.
Francis J. March 14, 2018
Indeed! And I can say that the combo of flesh and skin tastes lot better!
okaybusgirl April 8, 2021
bronwyncarlisle June 22, 2017
Cut and scoop is the only way, done it all my life. Mind you, the peels these days are a great deal less hairy than they used to be fifty years ago.