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Can You Eat Unripe Kiwi? And How To Tell If Kiwis Are Ripe

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If you often buy kiwi from the store without carefully picking each of them you can end up with some unripe kiwis, so naturally, the next question is if you can eat unripe kiwi?

Because this happened to me as well, I thought I would make an article to explain the problems with unripe kiwis and what you can do with them.

The worst thing that can happen when you buy fresh fruits is to be disappointed with them and throw them away. Kiwi is no exception, especially since you don’t find good kiwi in any season, and it can be quite expensive.

I will do my best in this article to get through how to choose a ripe kiwi, so this way, you will have fewer chances of buying unripe kiwis.

unripe kiwi

Can you eat unripe kiwi?

Yes, technically, you can eat unripe kiwis. There is no evidence that it is bad for your health. However, it is not recommended since it will have a sour taste and too firm of a texture for a kiwi.

If we talk about slightly unripe kiwi that is quite firm, but you can easy-peel them and cut them into small pieces, then maybe it will not be the worst experience if you can bear the sour taste. But if we talk about really unripe kiwi that you get the knife stuck in when you try to cut them, It is better to avoid them since there are almost no chances you will enjoy their taste.

So even if it can be safe to eat unripe kiwi, it is better to give them more time to ripe. The good part is that the kiwis, like bananas, avocado, and many other fruits, continue to ripen after they are picked up. So it is not the end of the world if you buy unripe kiwis, if it is not a matter of urgency, you can let them ripe more.

Read Also: Best Kiwi Substitutes

How to know when kiwi is ripe

The best way to know if the kiwi is ripe is to press it gently with your thumb. A ready-to-eat kiwi it should give to slight pressure. There is a fine line between a ripe kiwi and the one that has gone bad. A bad kiwi will be soft and mushy, and also, you will notice some wrinkles on its fuzzy skin.

When you pick your kiwi it is important to have in mind what you plan to do with it, if you plan to eat it right away, it is ok to go for a softer one that will probably have a sweeter taste. But if you plan to store it for later use or eat it in 3-4 days, it is better to go for the ones that are hard since they will continue to ripen after you get them home.

Also, depending on how you like your fruits can impact how you buy them. For example, I like sour fruits, so I always go for the ones that are a bit more firm, but my spouse doesn’t touch any fruit if it is not sweet enough.

Can you eat kiwi skin?

The kiwi skin is safe to eat even if it doesn’t look like it. However, not many people are eating the skin since it is hairy and has an unpleasant texture. But you should not be worried if you didn’t peel the kiwi perfectly or somehow ate a bit of kiwi skin.

There is no evidence that the kiwi skin is poisonous or bad for your health.

When I was a kid, I heard that the kiwi skin is poisonous, and you can imagine why that is easy to believe, but I found out that it is not true.

kiwi peel

How to ripen kiwi

The best way to ripen kiwi is to put them in a fruit bowl away from direct sunlight on your counter.

If you are in a hurry, you can speed up the process by placing the kiwi in a paper bag and keeping them next to bananas, apples, or avocados. Those fruits produce ethylene, a gas that helps the fruits around them ripen faster.

Maybe you noticed that when you keep bananas next to apples, they ripe faster. You can test this by getting a bunch of bananas, apples, kiwis, or avocados and putting one of them separately from the others. You will notice how the ones away from the others will ripen slower.

What to do with unripe kiwi

You can keep unripe kiwis in the fridge for up to one month and get them out within a few days before you need them. Make sure you keep them separated from other food or fruits that can accelerate their ripening process.

If you need them faster, you can place them straight into the fruit bowl and leave them there for 3-4 days. Make sure you check them occasionally since it can differ how fast they rip from one kiwi to another.

How to buy a good kiwi

To make sure you have fewer chances to end up with an unripe kiwi, you must check a few things before buying the fruit.

As I said before, it is important to know when you plan to eat the kiwi or what you plan to do with it to know what you are going for.

Here are a few tips on buying a fresh and tasty kiwi:

-Texture. The texture is maybe the most important thing that you can check when buying a kiwi. You should go for the firm ones that only give slightly when pressed with the thumb.

-Color. Kiwi should be brown and fuzzy without discoloration, dark spots, or blemishes. A small tip is to check if there are kiwis that have a darker color mixed with the ones that look good. That is a sign that the store doesn’t put that much effort into getting the bad ones out, which can also impact the good ones.

Also, make sure that there are no softer spots or wrinkles on the skin.

-Smell. A good kiwi will have a fragrant smell but is not too sweet, if they smell way too sweet is a sign that they have gone bad. Also, a fermented smell clearly shows that you should avoid that kiwi.

-Size. I put this one here just to let you know that the size doesn’t matter in this case. With many fruits, the size matter but with kiwis, there is no change in taste or texture if the kiwi is small or big.

Read Also: Is Kiwi A Citrus Fruit ?


So the conclusion is that it is safe to eat unripe kiwis, but most probably, you will not enjoy it. And since the kiwi continues to ripen after you get it home, there is no point in eating it when it is not ripe.

Make sure you store it properly and check it occasionally to see if it is ripe since there can be a short window between ripe enough and overripe.

After reading this article, I hope you will know when to eat a kiwi in order to have the best experience and what to do with unripe kiwi.


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