Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day Six: The Dreaded Kiwi

I had to do a little research on kiwis (technically, kiwifruit, named for the little birds, kiwis, who eat them--more technically, Chinese gooseberries). I've rarely had them, and when I have it's been in fruit salad, and I've done my best to pick around them. (Why do people make fruit salad, anyway? What is so appealing about a bunch of mushy fruit mixed together, especially when you throw in yogurt? It can be done well but so many people murder it.) I had to ask a friend how to eat it (with a spoon). I looked up a few recipes that call for kiwi and mostly I found cocktails, though I found a salsa meant to accompany pork that looked pretty good. But I ate my kiwi raw, with a spoon, as instructed, and I think it can be crossed off the list of foods Laura doesn't like. It didn't make my eyes roll back in my head with pleasure, but it was kind of nice, and I found I liked it better with each successive bite.

I was worried, when I found the stack of kiwis in the grocery store, that I would be eating fruit out of season and thus have no way of knowing if I really liked it or not. I bought the kiwi anyway, and when I got home and looked it up, it turns out we are smack dab in the middle of kiwi season, which would explain the bright green color, the firm but yielding consistency, and the immense amount of juice in my kiwi. I was afraid of the seeds, but they sort of crackled between my teeth, like tiny ice crystals exploding.

But I must say this: Who ever thought to eat a kiwi? They certainly don't advertise themselves the way bananas do, or apples, oranges, mangoes, etc. Fruit want to be eaten! They're meant to seduce the senses. They're meant to make you (or a kiwi or a goat or a giraffe) eat them and, um, scatter their seeds elsewhere. How else does a tree propagate the species? Anyway, as for the why-we-eat-kiwi question, my hypothesis is that animals are hard-wired to know what is good to eat and what isn't. We humans don't always seem to be. But, we are smart enough to say, Hey--that monkey's eating that little brown thing. I bet I could eat that little brown thing, too.

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