As other posters have pointed out, kiwifruit
were originally called Chinese Gooseberry
. What they have failed to point out is the reason for the name
. Cast your mind back to the 1950
's, the period when the New Zealand plant breeders
got the first strains of fruit palatable
to western tastes
... ...one of the major features of the international climate
, it was a period when none of our international trading partners
would touch a fruit with the word `Chinese
' in it. So a new name was coined, Kiwifruit
Unfortunately, the name was not trademarked, and soon other countries started growing Chinese Gooseberrys and calling them kiwifruit. So the cunning kiwis growing kiwis thought up a new brand name and remembered to trademark it. This trademark is Zespri.
Recently there have been a number of trips back to China to collect wild Chinese Gooseberry stock to increase the genetic diversity of the stock in New Zealand and raise the chances of interesting hybrids. Some of the recent successes include different colours of palatable Chinese Gooseberry, different shapes and larger size.
Kiwifruit grow on a vine, much like a grapevine, but the fruit hang individually not in clusters. Like grapes, commercial planting usually involves a root stock.
In a good year kiwifruit get down to 40cents per kilogram (that's about 15cents american) on the local market. This is for export rejects, which typically means that the fruit aren't aren't round but bi-lobed. Many locals eat the smoother skinned varieties skin and all.
Some of the many zespri websites are:
The web site of HortResearch, who I believe breed the original commercially successful strains of kiwifruit is: