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As Kiwi As It Comes

Kiwifruit is arguably the Bay of Plenty’s most famous product – we grow the lion’s share of this $1.8 billion crop thanks to our fertile soils and ideal climate.

Kiwifruit vines and carefully tended canopies span tens of thousands of hectares across Te Puke, Paengaroa, Te Puna, Katikati and the Eastern Bay of Plenty as our skilled orchardists grow one of the world’s most nutritious foods.

But the zing and zest of kiwifruit isn’t limited to individual pieces of fruit. Creative locals have taken our region’s emblem and come up with plenty of new ways to enjoy this distinct flavour.

Mount Brew Co Kiwifruit Sour 4

KIWIFRUIT SOUR - MOUNT BREWING CO. 

Sour beer is a big new trend on the craft brewing scene. And the masterminds behind Mount Brewing Co say kiwifruit is their most popular sour beer flavour.

“Sour beer is lighter and not so heavy,” explains Creative Director Briar Meikle.

“We have three sours on tap at the Rising Tide at the moment and kiwifruit is our highest selling one. It’s more of an introductory sour – you can get some sours that take your breath away but this one is quite subtle.”

Briar’s brother works in the kiwifruit industry so the Meikle family had a plentiful supply of fruit on hand to experiment with.

“We liked the idea of using something super Bay of Plenty as our core ingredient. It was a little bit tricky at first because it’s quite chunky and we had a lot of sediment in the brewery but now we have made it into a sour it ferments and works really well. It’s actually one of my favourite beers.”

Green kiwifruit are used as a bitter base then gold kiwifruit are added for a sweeter note. Briar says the beer was launched in March in time for the 2020 harvest and has been a hit. “Kiwifruit is such a big industry that locals are all a part of. Everyone knows about it so it was nice to make a beer that brings all of that together.”

Visit The Rising Tide at 107 Newton St, Mount Maunganui, or find stockists at www.mountbrewingco.com

Kiwifruit Tea 3

KIWIFRUIT TEA - WEBSTER'S TEA

Webster’s Tea have developed a kiwifruit loose-leaf tea with a sweet and tropical flavour which can be served hot or as a refreshing iced tea.

Chunks of dried organic kiwifruit from an orchard in Paengaroa are hand-blended with apple pieces and toasted coconut to produce a deliciously fruity caffeine-free tea.

The idea was initially inspired by an email from Amanda Flemming at Kiwifruit Country in early 2019 who enquired whether it was possible to create a kiwifruit-flavoured tea. An orchard tour was organised and tea expert Mark Webster quickly delivered!

“The timing was quite serendipitous,” he says. “I was looking to incorporate more local flavours and then Amanda approached me and I thought kiwifruit would work really well for the summer season. I’m born and raised in Tauranga – this tea is uniquely from the Bay so that speaks to me and I’m very proud of it.”

Mark loves the ritual of brewing loose leaf tea and describes it as “a natural time-out”. He learned his craft in Asia and Canada and now produces a dozen different blends which are served at cafes across the Bay of Plenty. People can also buy Webster’s Tea direct from Paper Plane in Mount Maunganui and from Mark’s regular stall at the Little Big Markets.

“I’ve had great reviews from people about the kiwifruit tea. It’s a flavour that people are familiar with so it’s not too much of a stretch and they like the coconut which gives it a tropical spin.”

For more information or to order online visit websterstea.co.nz

Green Kiwifruit

KIWIFRUIT RELISH & JAMES - NANRIC ROAD FINE FOODS 

Faye Taylor has lived on a green kiwifruit orchard in Pukehina for 35 years and has created a thriving business out of the produce on her doorstep.

Her jars of kiwifruit relish and green and gold kiwifruit jams are snapped up by locals and visitors alike. “People write to us from all over the world asking us to send more jars of relish. It’s amazing. They pick up a jar while they’re here and then can’t get enough of it.”

Faye combines kiwifruit with onions, garlic and spices to make the delectable relish which is perfect with cheese and crackers or on cold meat sandwiches.

Her jams are also big sellers at Kiwifruit Country’s on-site store and at Nanric Road’s pop-up Christmas kiosk in Bayfair. “Don’t ask me how much kiwifruit jam we produce each year but it’s many tonnes.”

Faye works alongside her daughter-in-law and employs several other locals at busy times throughout the year. Their kiwifruit products are also packaged and sold under other brand names at airports and souvenir shops nationwide, and are exported to supermarkets in Tahiti, American Samoa and China.

To order online visit nanricroad.co.nz

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