Quick trivia question: where does the kiwi fruit originate from? I’m sure you want to say the land known for kiwi: the fruit, the bird, and the people–New Zealand. It’s one of the things we really think of when the Southern Hemisphere nation is brought up. But kiwis didn’t come to New Zealand until the early 20th century, and were brought over from mainland China. But Kiwis embraced yang tao–the Chinese name for kiwi–and by 1962 the fruit had become so synonymous with the country that they dubbed it “kiwifruit,” to go along with the rest of the country. (It’s popularly known that the kiwi fruit was named after the kiwi bird, because they’re both small, brown, and fuzzy!) Nowadays, New Zealand isn’t even the main producer of the vine-grown berry fruit–that happens to be Italy, whose southern lands hold the best year-round climate for growing kiwi fruit. But it’s still the official fruit of New Zealand, and everyone around the world wants to eat a kiwi from the land of kiwi!
So, with respect to the worldwide tradition that kiwis have and always will be a New Zealand kind of flavor, you’ve got to get your kiwi fix today from a real kiwi restaurant. Like Kiwiana! I mentioned Kiwiana before for their take on the New Zealand pavlova on National Cake Day. Chef and owner Mark Simmons is from the ol’ isle himself, and everything about this restaurant’s menu is a celebration of New Zealand cuisine. But while you may drool over the Kiwi Lamb Burger and cranberry lamingtons, make sure you get there early for brunch to put that slovenly mouth to good use–and enjoy a glass of kiwi mimosa. This take on the perennial morning-after cocktail uses kiwi juice instead of orange juice, and it gives it a floral kick that you may need during this holiday season. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a Kiwi brunch–and one that I wouldn’t mind tasting myself!
847 Union St (between 6th Ave & 7th Ave)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Came here with group of ladies for a book club/brunch. The service was awesome. Everyone was very accommodating and friendly. The staff didn’t even complain when we stayed longer than our reservations were for (they were setting up for a private party). The food is also pretty good. In line with the overall theme, they’ve managed to infuse kiwi into several of their menu options. Seems to be working out pretty well for them; I Ioved the kiwi mimosas.”–Ana B.
“Kiwiana is a surprise found. We were trying to find a lunch place before we went to Brooklyn Museum. Egg benefit is very special here. It’s doesn’t have the smoked salmon. It’s made by braised pork belly, poached eggs, brioche and hollandaise. Kiwi mimosa is special and delicious as well. The price is very reasonable. I am looking forward to visit them again soon.”–Danny C.
Want something a little more substantive on Kiwi Fruit Day? Then head to a different borough–Queens–to Cannelle Patisserie, an unassuming little pastry shop that has gotten a lot of critical and popular acclaim. Cannelle has been known as the little French bakery outpost that could, rivaling many comparable Manhattan bakeries for an outer-borough price. And while rote pastry bakeries will feature kiwi fruit only in their sugar-glazed fruit tarts–which usually have very little taste or originality–Cannelle makes a Mango-Kiwi combo pastry that will knock your socks off! A layer of shortbread sets the foundation for this finger-food, which then has a layer of kiwi filling, topped with a fluffy mango mousse. The result is a French pastry that has decidedly un-French flavors: the brightness of the mango and kiwi come through in this little pastry bite, but the mousse and the shortbread remind you that this is a unique mix of fruit and crumbly sweet cake, with a perfect balance between the two. Boring old fruit tart, this is definitely not.
75-59 31st Ave, East Elmhurst
“The mango and kiwi flavors make this a perfect summer dessert. I do wish I could taste more of the mango a tad more though. I also like the different textures- the mango mousse, the kiwi filling, and the crumbs at the bottom. I believe this was $3.75.”–Eat Drink Explore
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Mango Kiwi Shortcake: Shortcake with a slice of kiwi on top, covered in a rich mango mousse. Tart and sweet, a perfect summer treat.”–Tinya C.
“This place is in a surprising location. Sadly, I live very far away. But I managed to meet up with a friend who brought me a few of these sweets, the coco-fraise, mango-kiwi, black forest, flan, and the cheese danish. (All for less than $13). The mousse desserts here are really light and airy, without being too sweet and perfectly sour in the case of the mango-kiwi one. Whose kiwi bit insides remind me of passion fruit.. surrounded by fluffy mousse, very good.”–Laura W.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!