Hardy Kiwi: Small in Stature, but Built Tough

November 21, 2013

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: This close relative of kiwi is proof that sturdy fruit can come in a small package.

All About Hardy Kiwi, from Food52

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No need to adjust your screen, these aren’t immature kiwifruit; hardy kiwi are closely related, but a different species. They’re about the size of a large grape and slightly sweeter than kiwi. The hardy part of their name is literal -- due to their hardiness, they can handle cooler growing temperatures than their larger relatives can. You might find hardy kiwi labeled under a variety of names, including baby kiwi, grape kiwi, and kiwi berries (the final is a term which actually includes two other similar species).

More: Baby artichokes are another type of so-called "baby" produce that aren't really babies at all. 

All About Hardy Kiwi, from Food52

Hardy kiwi have tiny black seeds (2) and thin, fuzz-free skin (1) that is most often green, but can also be reddish or purple. There's no need to peel these bite-sized berries -- the whole thing is edible. (Kiwifruit’s skin is edible too, but some people aren’t fond of the fuzz, so unlike hardy kiwi, they are almost always served peeled.) Let your hardy kiwis ripen at room temperature; they’re ready to eat when they’re a bit soft to the touch. They can be used anywhere you’d use kiwifruit -- just remember to think beyond the fruit bowl -- or try these ideas to highlight their diminutive size:

Friday: Kiwi Berry Tart with Rosewater Custard 
Saturday: Minted Tomato, Pepper, Feta Salad with Baby Kiwi 
Sunday: Cardamom Crema Pasticcera & Chocolate Wonton Pockets with Cajeta and Kiwi Berries 
Monday: Tilapia with Kiwi Berry Sauce 
Tuesday: Chocolate Coated Kiwiberries with Pistachios 
Wednesday: Zabaglione with Kiwi Berries 
Thursday: Honey-Glazed Baby Kiwi Mascarpone Cheesecake 

Photos by James Ransom 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Makayla
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Makayla October 20, 2015
How do you store hardy kiwi's? Can you cut them in half, stick them in a zip lock bag and freeze them?
Lindsay-Jean H. October 21, 2015
Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. I haven't frozen them before, but since regular kiwifruit freezes well, it seems these would too. I'd freeze them (whole or cut in half) on a cookie sheet first, and then transfer them to a zip-top bag once frozen.
Makayla October 22, 2015
Thank you so much!