Yes, that fuzzy brown skin on your kiwifruit is edible. And no, it's not an act of desperation to eat it. But because this exterior layer comes into contact with dirt, bacteria, pesticides, all those other shoppers' hands and other contaminants, clean it well before eating it. The nutritious skin adds textural variety and holds slices intact if you're tossing them in a fruit salad or other preparation. Proper cleaning only takes a minute, so there's no excuse to skip it, especially considering it can spare you an unpleasant bout of foodborne illness.
Select plump kiwis that feel fairly firm, and ripen them for three to five days. Choose fruits without bruises, nicks, discoloration or other imperfections or damage to the rind. Also, because you're eating the peel, opt for organic kiwi if possible to prevent ingestion of pesticide residue.
Cut off any bruised or damaged areas with a kitchen knife if you do end up with fruit that has some. Slice off the tip of the kiwi's stem end as well.
Hold the kiwifruit under a strong stream of cold running water. Spin it around to rinse all the surface area. Scrub the entire peel with a moderately firm bristled produce brush to remove dirt and other contaminants. Rinse the fruit off again after scrubbing.
Rub the skin dry with a clean cloth.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises not cleaning fresh produce with soap, dish detergent or commercial produce washes.