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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kiwifruit - 'Actinidia deliciosa' - fam: Actinidiaceae

Kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi, or Chinese gooseberry, is the name given to the edible berries of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia. The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit, the 'Hayward' is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5–8 cms (2–3ins) in length and 4.5–5.5 cms (1.8–2.2ins) 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 flavour. It is a commercial crop in several countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France. 1

The Kiwifruit is no ordinary fruit, both in terms of the way it looks as well as its nutritional content. The vibrant green slices specked with little black seeds have always worked wonders in sprucing up desserts and fruit bowls. It is a sight for the eyes and the refreshing flavour makes it a favoured choice among fruits. Placed under the category of exotic fruits, kiwi often features as a topping in pavlovas or in fruit bowls, salads and smoothies. Very rarely it is cooked; in desserts especially, it is used fresh as an enzyme present in it tends to break down milk proteins rather quickly, interfering with the final texture of the dish. It also acts as a tenderizing agent for meats, and is commonly used in the preparation of roasts and curries. However, to make the most of its nutritional value, it is said that the best way to have it is on its own, as a raw fruit. 2

In 1962, New Zealand growers began calling it "Kiwifruit" when exporting; the name becoming commercially adopted in 1974. The word kiwifruit and shortened 'kiwi' has been used since around 1966, when the fruit was first imported from New Zealand to the United States. Kiwifruit has since become a common name for all commercially grown fruit from the genus Actinidia.

In New Zealand, the shortened word "kiwi" is seldom used to refer to the fruit, as it usually refers to the kiwi bird, or the Kiwi people. 1

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Smart Cooky 2


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