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In fact, you don’t have to peel the kiwi fruit

Photo: Oksana mizina (Shutterstock)

There are some fruits that you need to peel before you bite, like pineapples, almost all citrus fruits, and bananas (especially if you have a latex allergy). There is fruits that are almost never peeled, such as grapes and cherries; and fruits where peeling is a sort of dealer choice, such as apples, pears, and peaches. Until about a year ago, I had always assumed that kiwi fruit fell into the first category, but – just like a peach – this fuzzy fruit is actually part of the third.

I forget where I first read that you “don’t have to” peel a kiwi, but I remember my reaction: “Only a pervert would eat an unpeeled kiwi,” I thought, shaking my big round head in disgust. But a few days later I bought a kiwi and, that night, i’m slightly drunk and i ate it like an apple (unpeeled). It didn’t bother me. It was like eating an unpeeled peach, but more. The taste of the tangy, sweet flesh dominated the feel of the thin, fuzzy skin – I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “imperceptible”, but I certainly wasn’t bothered. (I have since eaten a sober unpeeled kiwi and had the same reaction. I don’t mind at all.)

I hate peeling kiwis or any other fruit with thin, fragile skin, so that was – for me – great news. If, however, you’re the type of person who gags at the thought of biting into an unpeeled peach, I cannot in good conscience recommend an unpeeled kiwi. As someone with some other kind of texture issue (I couldn’t eat an oyster until I was 2), I understand that there are some feelings some people cannot tolerate it in their mouth, and I respect that. But if you don’t fuzz on a peach, you probably won’t get fuzz on a kiwi. Just be sure to wash it first, although with water only; the dirty fruit is the most squicky of all.

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