Illustration for article titled Actually, You Don't Have to Peel Kiwi FruitPhoto: Oksana Mizina (Shutterstock)

There are fruits that you need to peel before biting, like pineapples, almost all citrus fruits, and bananas (especially if you have a latex allergy). There are fruits that are almost never peeled, such as grapes and cherries; and fruits for which peeling is a sort of dealer’s choice, such as apples, pears, and peaches. Up until about a year ago I had always assumed that kiwifruit fell into the first category, but – much like a peach – this fuzzy fruit is actually part of the third.

I forget where I first read that you “didn’t have to peel” a kiwi, but I remember my reaction: “Only a pervert would eat an unpeeled kiwi,” I thought, shaking my big, round head in disgust . But a few days later I bought a kiwi and got slightly drunk that evening and ate it like an (unpeeled) apple. It didn’t upset me. It was like eating an unpeeled peach, but more than that. The taste of the tart and sweet meat overwhelmed the feel of the thin, fuzzy skin – I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “unnoticed,” but I was definitely undisturbed. (I’ve since eaten an unpeeled kiwi sober and had the same reaction. I don’t mind.)

I hate peeling kiwi or any other kind of thin-skinned fruit, so this was great news – to me -. However, if you’re the type of person who chokes at the thought of biting into an unpeeled peach, I can’t safely recommend an unpeeled kiwi. As someone with other structural problems (I couldn’t eat an oyster until the end of two), I understand that there are certain feelings in their mouths that some people cannot tolerate, and I respect that. But if you aren’t squeezed out by the fluff of a peach you are unlikely to be squeezed out by the fluff of a kiwi. Just make sure you wash it first, if only with water; dirty fruits are the trickiest of them all.