iPhoneOgraphy – 20 Mar 2016 (Day 80/366)
The kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry (sometimes shortened to kiwi) is the edible berry of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia. The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit (‘Hayward’) is oval, about the size of a large hen’s egg (5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 cm (1.8–2.2 in) in diameter). It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor. It is a commercial crop in several countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France.
In New Zealand the word kiwi usually refers to the kiwi bird or the people of New Zealand, so it is seldom used to refer to the fruit.
Kiwifruit is native to north-central and eastern China. Cultivation of the fuzzy kiwifruit spread from China in the early 20th century to New Zealand, where the first commercial plantings occurred. Although cultivars were called by a variety of Chinese names, such as yang tao, the name “Chinese gooseberry” became commonplace, due to the flavor and color of the flesh, among growers in England and New Zealand during the early 20th Century, as well with American servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War II. The fruit was exported to California using the names “Chinese gooseberry” and “melonette”. In 1962, New Zealand growers began calling it “kiwifruit” to give it more market appeal, and a California-based importer subsequently used that name when introducing the fruit to the American market.
Kiwifruit has since become a common name for all commercially grown fruit from the genus Actinidia.