What fruit is ugly to look at, beautiful inside,
has a given name of a berry, was renamed after
an equally ugly, flightless, endangered bird, and
was unknown to North Americans until 1970?
The oft’ neglected kiwi is the size of a hen’s egg and has a drab, brown, fuzzy skin. Its inside is another story. It is a photographer’s delight — shiny bright greenish, golden flesh with even circular rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The kiwi’s flesh has a smooth, refreshing flavor resembling combined bananas, pineapple and strawberries. Early New Zealand exporters, before marketing in the U.S. in 1970, changed its name from Chinese Gooseberry to Kiwifruit after their national symbol, a chicken-sized, endangered brown flightless bird.
The kiwifruit is native to the Yangtze River valley of northern China. Similar forms developed in India and Japan. An educator introduced it into New Zealand where it was developed commercially. Italy now leads in production followed by Chile, South Africa, France, Greece, Japan and the US. Continue reading