Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Kiwifruit is originally known as Chinese gooseberry.  The first kiwifruit tree in New Zealand was planted from seeds brought from China in 1904 by Isabel Fraser, a headmistress of the Wanganui Girls’s College.

Auckland-based fruit packers Turners and Growers briefly named the fruit “melonette”, but the move was proven a mistake as melons and berries were charged heavier import tariffs at that time.

Thus in 1959, Sir Harvey Turner renamed the ‘melonette’ to ”kiwifruit”, derived from the Maori word ‘kiwi’ referred to the native kiwi birds.

Kiwifruit is the berry fruit of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia.   The genus Actinidia contains around 60 species, native to temperate eastern Asia.  The fruit is a large berry containing numerous small seeds.  In most Actinidia species, the fruits is edible.  The skin of the fruit varies in size, shape, hairiness and colour.   The flesh too varies in colour, juiciness, texture, and taste.  

The most common kiwifruit is the fuzzy kiwifruit ( A. deliciosa ).  Other species commonly eaten include : baby kiwifruit ( A. arguta ),  golden kiwifruit ( A. chinensis ), Chinese egg gooseberry ( A. coriacea ), Arctic kiwifruit ( A. kolomikta ), red kiwifruit ( A. melanandra ), silver kiwifruit ( A. polygama ), purple kiwifruit ( A. purpurea ), etc.


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