Kiwifruit

The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia.[1] The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit ('Hayward') is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5�centimetres (2.0�1 in) in length and 4.5�5 centimetres (1.8�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, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, such as New Zealand, Italy, Chile, Greece and France.[2]The fuzzy kiwifruit is native to southern China, and has been declared a National Fruit of China.[3] Other species of Actinidia are native to India, Japan, and southeastern Siberia. Cultivation of the fuzzy kiwifruit spread from China in the early 20th century, when seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of Wanganui Girls' College, who had been visiting mission schools in Yichang, China.[4] The seeds were planted in 1906 by a Wanganui nurseryman, Alexander Allison, with the vines first fruiting in 1910. The first commercial planting of Chinese gooseberries occurred in 1937 in New Zealand by the orchardist Jim MacLoughlin. The fruit proved popular with American servicemen in New Zealand during World War II. In 1952 MacLoughlin partnered with the New Zealand Fruit Federation to market and export the fruit in the United States market.[5] Thanks to pioneering research into the transportability of the fruit by John Pilkington Hudson and others at the agriculture department in Wellington this was the first international export of the Kiwifruit.[6] [edit]Names As the local popularity of this fruit increased, New Zealanders discarded the old Chinese name for t e fruit (mi hou tao[a]) in favor of the name Chinese Gooseberry.[7] When the export market to the United States started to grow the fruit it was marketed under the invented name melonette as US-China relations were not positive. The San Francisco importer at Ziel & Co suggested that this name was unsuitable, as both melons and berries attracted high duties. It was proposed that the fruit be named after the kiwi, New Zealand抯 national symbol, as the bird and the fruit share a similar appearance (small, brown and furry). "Kiwifruit" was used as a global brand for marketing the fuzzy kiwifruit, but was not registered internationally as a trademark. Kiwifruit has since become a common name for all commercially grown fruit from the family Actinidia.[8] In Chinese, the current word for most wild or local varieties of the kiwifruit is the Macaque peach. The imported varieties are often referred to as wonder fruit as qi yi (wonder) sounds similar to kiwi. See the table below for other Chinese words for kiwifruit. The genus Actinidia contains around 60 species. Though most kiwifruit are easily recognized as kiwifruit (due to basic shape) their fruit is quite variable. The skin of the fruit can vary in size, shape, hairiness, and color. The flesh can also vary in color, juiciness, texture, and taste. Some fruits are unpalatable while others taste considerably better than the majority of the commercial varieties.[12] The most common kiwifruit is the Fuzzy Kiwifruit and comes from the species A. deliciosa. Other species have fruits that are commonly eaten, some of there are: Golden Kiwifruit (A. chinensis), Chinese Egg Gooseberry (A. coriacea), Baby Kiwifruit (A. arguta), Arctic Kiwifruit (A. kolomikta), Red Kiwifruit (A. melanandra), Silver Vine (A. polygama), Purple Kiwifruit (A. purpurea).