Sweeter and less acidic than the green kiwi, with a hint of red fruit, the red kiwi, originally from China, is slowly finding its place in southwestern France.
It is in 2018 in the Lot-et-Garonne department that red kiwis were grown for the first time. The largest farm is located in Boé.
Philippe Malet, based in Aire-sur-l’Adour, has chosen to grow the first organic red kiwis in the Landes. The producer planted 500 plants two years ago: 60% yellow kiwis, 40% red kiwis, in a photovoltaic greenhouse because the fruit is very sensitive to PSA bacterial blight.
And this year, the producer is harvesting its first fruits. “I believe that the potential is huge! There’s room for improvement, regarding the sizes for example, but I think we will have a very nice product in the end!”
“On this tree, we did density tests. We left too many flowers, but it was intentional. There, the fruit is too small.”
According to Patrick Piquin, director of Scaap Kiwifruits of France, “in terms of taste, it is really surprising. The fruit is very original, with a slightly yellow flesh and a very red heart. And the flavors are really surprising as well. The fruit does not have the acidity of the green kiwi, which many people appreciate, but it has a very fruity, sweet and mild flavor!”
More expensive than its green counterpart, the red kiwi sells at about 10€ [11.63 USD] per kilo, compared to 3€ [3.49 USD] on average for the green kiwis.