We who live on the internet clearly have an obsession with tiny and bizarre produce. The latest addition to the quirky fruit lineup? Mini kiwi berries. These thumb-sized green oblong spheres look like a standard kiwi but don't have the fuzzy brown skin. Similar to grapes, kiwi berries (also known as Hardy kiwis or Actinidia Arguta) have a thin, edible skin. Apparently slightly sweeter than their larger counterparts, kiwi berries are filled with immune-boosting vitamin C, antioxidant-rich vitamin E, and plenty of dietary fiber. Although kiwi berries are native to forests of eastern Asia and have existed in the United States for over 100 years, they remain relatively uncultivated. Companies like Nergi are hoping to change that, investing research and funding to commercialize kiwi berries.
This excitement for tiny kiwis comes shortly after Trader Joe’s set the internet into a cute-spiral with their baby avocados, which sadly only exist due to poor weather conditions that shrink crops. The pink pineapple is another frankenfruit that recently graced our social media feeds. Delish notes that research facilities and companies like Nergi are “choosing to capitalize on America's newfound obsession with all things natural,” which pulls me in two directions. Seeing excitement typically reserved for items like doughnuts stuffed inside a pizza aimed at fresh produce fills my heart will joy. At the same time, with the resources available to them, I hope these researchers also use their knowledge of genetic modification and natural pollination to increase accessibility of fresh produce to those living in insecure food deserts, not just bring cool new fruit into standard circulation.
So far, Nergi's kiwi berries are available in certain stores in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Spain, but are slowly being added to more cool-weather crop growing farms’ rotations. It’s likely only a matter of time until everyone can pick up a bunch at their local market.