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    Locally Grown Kiwifruit Brightens Winter Meals

    By Debra Morris–

    It’s fuzzy, round, bright green inside, speckled with tiny black seeds, and it’s delicious! This vine-growing furry ball of fruit is only available at your farmers’ market during the winter/early spring months and it couldn’t come at a better time to brighten your winter meals.

    Botanically a berry, this sweet, juicy fruit hails from China, and from there New Zealand, hence the name. It was once called, of all things, a gooseberry. Brought to the U.S. in the early 1960s, it was renamed kiwifruit because the fuzzy outer skin looked like the brown coat of a kiwi and because it was imported from New Zealand, the ancestral home of the bird.

    This tropical fruit quickly became a hit and farmers soon embraced growing it. The variety most often grown in California is the Hayward and the state grows almost 98% of all kiwifruit grown in the U.S. It is found growing throughout the state.

    This delicious fruit tastes like a combination of strawberry, melon, and banana. Cut it in half and scoop out the yummy green flesh. Peel it, slice it, and add it to salads, smoothies, and more. Kiwifruit should yield gently to pressure to assure it is ripe. Ripe kiwifruit can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days.

    You’ll find kiwifruit at the Divisadero Farmers’ Market from Inzana Ranch & Produce out of Hughson and Country Rhodes Family Farm of Visalia. Enjoy the fruit for the next few months. These farmers bring them straight from the farm to your market, and with a freshness and flavor you won’t find elsewhere.

    Pomelo Curd Tart with Kiwifruit

    3 large ripe pomelos
    1-1/2 cups evaporated cane juice or organic sugar
    10 large egg yolks (or 12 medium egg yolks)
    1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
    1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pats and chilled
    2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced
    1 prepared pie crust

    Wash the pomelos thoroughly; zest and juice all three fruits. Strain the juice, combine with zest, and set aside. In another bowl, separate the egg yolks from the whites, and set the whites aside for a different recipe. Beat the sugar into the yolks until they become lighter in color and are thoroughly combined. Stir in the salt.

    Heat a medium-sized pot on the stove with about an inch of water simmering in it, and place your metal bowl of lemon juice/zest on top of it. Add in the egg mixture, and stir to combine. Whisk or stir the curd constantly while it is on the heat.

    If at any time the curd starts to boil or bubble, turn down the heat under your simmering pot. Heat this mixture very slowly so that the eggs thicken without congealing. The process takes 20¬–30 minutes of constant stirring. The curd will thicken gradually, and will get to the point where it thickly coats the back of a spoon. At this point it is done cooking, and you can take it off the heat.

    To get that beautiful sheen and rich flavor, the curd needs butter. Melt/stir the chilled pats of butter into the hot curd one at a time, letting each one completely incorporate before adding the next. When all of the butter is mixed in, allow the curd to cool. This curd will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

    Please note: The Castro Farmers’ Market is closed for the season. Until we return in the spring, please visit the nearby Divisadero Farmers’ Market at the DMV parking lot, 1375 Fell St., San Francisco. It’s there year-round on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

    Debra Morris is a spokesperson for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA). Check out the PCFMA website for recipes, information about farmers’ markets throughout the region and for much more:

    Published on January 16, 2020