I haven’t thought this about much about kiwis since I used to pack them for lunch. Back then they were cheap and relatively tasty, if somewhat tart. It’s been years since I’ve had one of the fuzzy fruits once known as Chinese gooseberries. Last night the good folks at Zespri Kiwifruit and Chef Joey Campanaro of Little Owl changed my mind about the fruit. For one thing a properly ripened kiwi is quite tasty, sweet and juicy with just a hint of tang.
The coolest thing I learned about the kiwifruit last night though was its culinary applications: as a meat tenderizer, in prosciutto wraps, tacos, and the BLK. That last a bacon, lettuce and kiwi sandwich that I would gladly eat for lunch daily were not most of days spent chasing down noodles, dumplings, offal and other delights in the culinary wonderland that is Queens.
“I thought about what everyone can connect with. I don’t normally use kiwi,” Campanaro said. “I try and stick to the local and seasonal aspect of cooking, and there’s not too much kiwi in Manhattan.”
Be that as it may Campanaro’s creation of bacon, lettuce, and kiwi with chili aioli was surprisingly good. The tart-sweet kiwi was a good stand-in for the tomato. That sandwich was the second-best thing I ate last night. The best thing was a newish variety of kiwi called the SunGold that was incredibly juicy and tasted rather like a mango. I heard its even available at some of the Korean markets in home borough. I wonder how it would taste with kimchi. It’d probably make a better kalbi tenderizer but kiwi kimchi does have a certain ring to it. hank you to Zespri for sponsoring today’s post.