Are Kiwis a Tropical Fruit? Exploring the Debate



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Are Kiwis A Tropical Fruit?

Kiwis make a delicious snack, dish accompaniment, smoothie ingredient, and dessert ingredient. They have a vibrant green pulp and a stupendously sweet and tangy flavor.

However, as recognizable and delicious as kiwis are, not everyone knows much else about them. For example, do you know what kind of fruit the kiwi is? Are kiwis a tropical fruit or not? 

If you don’t, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s post, we will tell you everything you need to know about whether or not kiwis are tropical fruits.

If you want to know more about kiwis or simply enjoy learning about the world of fruit, make sure you keep reading. We have a lot to get through, so we best get started!

What Is A Kiwi?

Let’s start by taking a look at what a kiwi is. Kiwifruit, often referred to as the Chinese gooseberry, is an edible berry from several species of woody vines belonging to the Actinidia genus.

Kiwis have a distinct oval shape, dark brown, almost furry skin, and a bright green pulp that has a super sweet and tangy flavor.

Aside from a sweet and tangy flavor, kiwifruit has a soft and tender texture. They are usually extremely juicy, too.

All these things make kiwifruit a great ingredient to use in a wide range of dishes, a tasty snack, and a delicious smoothie ingredient.

The most common types of kiwifruit [1] we eat are fuzzy kiwi, kiwi berries, and Actinidia Chinensis.

What Makes A Fruit Tropical?

Before we can tell you if kiwis are tropical fruits, you need to know what a tropical fruit is. Simply put, tropical fruit is any fruit that grows in a tropical climate.

The climates where tropical fruits grow are most commonly found around the equator, with high temperatures and humidity.

Some good examples of the tropical fruits we eat daily are bananas, mangoes, papayas, and pineapples.

Are Kiwis A Tropical Fruit?

Now we can answer the question you came here seeking the answer to. Despite popular belief, the Kiwifruit is NOT a tropical fruit. 

Kiwis grow in subtropical climates where temperatures are cooler. Kiwis still need warm temperatures and a humid environment to grow, but they aren’t classified as tropical fruit. 

Essentially, kiwis aren’t tropical because they aren’t grown in tropical climates.

Kiwi plants are capable of tolerating cooler environments. Other fruits categorized as subtropical fruits with kiwis include persimmons, citrus fruits, and guava.

Where Does The Kiwi Come From?

The kiwifruit was first cultivated in China, hence the name Chinese gooseberry. However, despite being native to China, the kiwifruit gets its most popular name from New Zealand.

The kiwifruit was introduced to New Zealand early in the 20th century. Since then, New Zealand has gone on to become one of the biggest producers of kiwis in the world. 

New Zealand and China aren’t the only places where kiwis grow either. Kiwifruit is also grown in Japan, South Korea, Greece, France, Italy, and California.

What’s The Difference Between Subtropical And Tropical Fruits?

Despite seemingly being similar, some differences exist between subtropical and tropical fruits [2]. The biggest difference between the two is the climate in which they grow.

Tropical fruits always grow in regions of the world that have higher temperatures and more humidity across the year. As mentioned earlier, these regions are almost always close to the equator.

These fruits need high humidity, plenty of sun, and a lot of rainfall to grow and thrive. On the other hand, subtropical fruits tend to grow in more moderate climates.

Subtropical fruits grow in regions that have cooler temperatures and lower humidity. However, they do still require decent levels of rainfall to thrive.

Are Kiwis A Tropical Fruit?

Why Do People Mistake Kiwis For Tropical Fruit?

Despite being a subtropical fruit, most people consider kiwis to be a tropical fruit. This is understandable because there aren’t too many differences between tropical and subtropical fruits.

Kiwis still need warm weather and humidity to grow. However, people mainly mistake kiwis for tropical fruit because they look and taste like tropical fruit.

Kiwis have bright green pulp that’s ridiculously juicy, super sweet, and delightfully tangy. These are all things we have become accustomed to in tropical fruits, too. 

What Can We Use Kiwis For?

Aside from their epic taste, one of the greatest things about kiwis is how versatile they are. We can use kiwis in many different ways or eat them on their own. 

We’ve listed some of the best ways we can enjoy kiwis below!

Also, if you are in the mood for cooking with kiwis, a popular Kiwi fruit cookbook is the Easy Kiwi Cookbook: 50 Delicious Kiwi Recipes, Simple Techniques for Cooking with Kiwi by BookSumo Press and readily available on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you tell if a kiwi is ripe?

A: To tell if a kiwi is ripe, you can gently press on it with your thumb. If it gives slightly but doesn’t feel too soft, it’s most likely ripe. The skin should also feel slightly fuzzy, and the kiwi should have a sweet aroma.

Q: What Do Kiwis Taste Like?

A: Regarding taste, Kiwis are famous for their strong, sweet flavors and hints of tanginess. They are often compared to a combination of strawberries and pineapple.

Q: Are Kiwis Healthy? 

A: Yes, kiwis are a healthy type of fruit. In fact, they might be one of the healthiest. Kiwis are jam-packed with healthy nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Q: When are Kiwis in season?

A: Kiwis are typically in season from around late fall to early spring, depending on the region they are grown in. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are typically in season from November to May, while in the Southern Hemisphere, they are in season from May to October.

Q: Is Kiwi a tropical fruit?

A: Yes, Kiwi is commonly considered a tropical fruit due to its origin in the subtropical regions of China. Kiwi fruits are characterized by their fuzzy brown exterior and vibrant green flesh with a sweet and tangy flavor. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

Final Thoughts

So, kiwis aren’t a type of tropical fruit. Despite their obvious tropical appearance and taste, kiwis are a subtropical fruit. 

While this may come as a surprise to some of you, believing kiwis are tropical is an easy mistake to make.

Now you’ve made your way through this post, you should know why the kiwifruit isn’t tropical and why it’s actually a subtropical fruit instead.

Ultimately, everything comes down to where the kiwifruit is grown.

Further Recommendations:

Video: Is Kiwi an Exotic Fruit?

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