Try a different summer fruit: kiwi

What has a fuzzy, skin, looks like a cross between a small potato and a lime, and tastes like a blend of banana, pear, strawberry, and citrus fruit? It would not be too surprising if you didn't know the answer, for kiwifruit is a newcomer to US supermarkets.

Like the kiwi, a flightless New Zealand bird, the kiwifruit is also a New Zealand native. Beginning in May they are airshipped to America, but by late June and early July they come by ship. When the New Zealand harvest ends, California kiwis take over the market. The first plantings of the fruit were made there several years ago.

When kiwifruit is fully ripened, its skin will yield to gentle pressure. It it is not to be eaten immediately, it can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week or more. If not ripe at the time of purchase, the kiwi can be put in a bag with an apple and a banana, and both the temperature in the bag and the gases produced by the other fruits will hasten the ripening process. When ready to use, brush off the fuzzy surface, then peel. Kiwifruit With Prosciutto 6 kiwifruit 1/4 pound prosciutto

Peel 5 kiwifruit. Cut in wedges and wrap in wafer-thin slices of prosciutto. Arrange on serving plate and garnish with rounds of remaining kiwifruit. Chill before serving. Serves 6. Fruit Salad With Kiwifruit 1 1/2 cups sliced papaya 1 cup sliced banana 1 cup sliced grapefruit 1 cup sliced strawberries 1 cup sliced kiwifruit 8 lettuce leaves Juice of 1 lime 3 tablespoons honey 1/4 cup salad oil 1/8 teaspoon salt Chill fruit. Blend lime juice and honey. Add salad oil and salt. Place fruit in mixing bowl, except strawberries. Pour lime-juice, honey, salad-oil mixture over fruit. Mix gently. Arrange fruit on lettuce leaves in individual salad bowls. Add strawberries. Serves 8. Kiwifruit Cheesecake 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted 1 pound cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs, well beaten Topping 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Kiwi glaze 1/2 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 cup water 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice 3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced crosswise 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 2 kiwifruit for garnish Combine graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Blend in melted butter. Press mixture on bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring-form pan. Chill.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour into crust and bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.

Combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla for topping. Spread over top of cake. Return to 350 degree F. oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Two hours before serving time, prepare kiwi glaze. In medium saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch and gradually stir in water. Stir over medium heat until mixture is clear and thickened. Add the lemon or jice, kiwifruit slices and butter and continue cooking for 5 minutes over low heat. Cool. Pour glaze over cheesecake. Chill. At serving time, garnish with additional kiwi slices.

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