Believe it or not, kiwifruit (originally known as Chinese gooseberry, native to Southern China) is both locally grown and seasonally available right now in Western North Carolina. A sweet couple from Little Sandy Mush have two very old vines which happened to do very well this year. They explained to me how kiwifruits are picky and conditions have to be just right to produce.
Lucky for many of us, they were willing to bring their harvest down from the mountain to share.
Kiwis have a lot going for them health wise. Not only do they contain good amounts of vitamin C and potassium (almost equivalent to a banana), they also contain fat-soluble vitamins E and A. The oil present in the seeds contains an an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.
Due to the presence of vitamin E and this omega-3 fatty acid, kiwifruits are thought to have blood thinning potential. A study conducted by the University of Oslo in Norway showed similarities between aspirin and the consumption of kiwifruit in reducing platelet aggregation and blood triglyceride levels, reducing the risk of blood clots.
Yet another reason to eat seasonally as a means of broadening our bodies' exposure to the health giving properties of various foods available throughout the year.
Personally, I have always enjoyed slicing through the delicate hairy skin of a kiwi to revel the most vibrant shade of green fruit patterned with shiny little black seeds. The taste used to remind me of far off tropical places where I imagined them growing alongside pineapples and papayas with toucans soaring overhead. Now the taste of a ripe kiwi once again reminds me of all the limitless bounty found in this special region I fondly call home.