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Kiwi

Kiwi (Development)

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Tags: kiwi (3 pics), fruit (18 pics)

Kiwifruit

The kiwifruit, often shortened to Kiwi, is the edible berry of a cultivar group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia. The Actinidia is native to South of China.

The most common cultivars of kiwifruit are oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5–8 cm / 2–3 in long and 4.5–5.5 cm / 1¾–2 in diameter). It has a fibrous, dull brown-green skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a unique flavour, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, mainly in Italy, China, and New Zealand.

Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, the fruit was renamed for export marketing reasons in the 1950s; briefly to melonette, and then by New Zealand exporters to kiwifruit. This latter name comes from the Kiwi — a flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol, and also a colloquial name for the New Zealand people.

Names

This fruit had a long history before it was commercialised as kiwifruit and therefore had many other older names.

In Chinese:
Macaque peach (獼猴桃 Pinyin: míhóu táo): the most common name
Macaque pear (獼猴梨 míhóu lí)
Vine pear (藤梨 téng lí)
Sunny peach (陽桃 yáng táo), a name originally referring to the Kiwifruit, but often refers to the starfruit
Wood berry (木子 mù zi)
Hairy bush fruit (毛木果 máo mù guǒ)
Unusual fruit or wonder fruit (奇異果 Pinyin: qíyì guǒ, Jyutping: kei4 ji6 gwo2): the most common name in Taiwan and Hong Kong. A quasi-transliteration of "kiwifruit", literally "strange fruit".

Kiwifruit was originally known by its Chinese name, yáng táo (sunny peach) or Mihou Tao (Macaque peach). After it was introduced to New Zealand by evangelist Isabel Fraser, people in New Zealand thought it had a gooseberry flavour and began to call it the Chinese gooseberry, although it is not related to the Grossulariaceae (gooseberry) family.

New Zealand exported the fruit to the United States in the 1950 (67 years ago). Among the exporters was the prominent produce company Turners and Growers, who were calling the berries melonettes, because the name Chinese gooseberry had political connotations due to the Cold War, and to further distinguish it from real gooseberries, which are prone to a fungus called anthracnose. An American importer, Norman Sondag of San Francisco, complained that melonettes was as bad as Chinese gooseberry because melons and berries were both subject to high import tariffs, and instead asked for a short Maori name that quickly connoted New Zealand. In Jun. 1959 (58 years ago), during a meeting of Turners and Growers management in Auckland, Jack Turner suggested the name kiwifruit which was adopted and later became the industry-wide name. In the 1960 (57 years ago) and 1970s, Frieda Caplan, founder of Los Angeles-based Frieda's Finest (aka Frieda's Inc./Frieda's Specialty Produce) played a key role in popularizing kiwifruit in the United States, convincing supermarket produce managers to carry the odd-looking fruit.

Most New Zealand kiwifruits are now marketed under the brand-name label Zespri which is trademarked by a marketing company domiciled in New Zealand, ZESPRI International. The branding move also served to distinguish New Zealand kiwifruit from fruit produced by other countries who could cash in on the "Kiwi" name, as it was not trademarked.


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