Kiwi is an edible fruit that belongs to the group of cultivars of woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia.
The most common cultivars of kiwifruit are oval in shape and about the size of a large chicken egg (5-8 cm / 2-3 inches in length and 4.5-5.5 cm / 1,75-2 inches in diameter). Kiwi has a fibrous, dull brown-green skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of small, black edible seeds. The structure of the fruit is soft and the flavor is sometimes described as a compound of strawberry, banana and pineapple.
In North America, South America and Europe most people call this fruit simply as “kiwi”, although in fact it is the nickname of any New Zealander, in whose honor and was named the fruit, as well as its name a local New Zealand bird. Most of New Zealand kiwifruit are now sold under the brand name label Zespri, which is registered as a trademark trading company, born in New Zealand, ZESPRI International. Promotion of the brand was aimed at to distinguish New Zealand kiwifruit from fruit produced by other countries that could profit from the name “Kiwi”, since it was not registered as a trademark. Since 2005, Zespri has launched a new global advertising campaign with the participation of Japanese superstar Eyumi Hamazaki as their full representative.
Homeland Actinidia deliciosa is southern China, where they are known as “National Fruit” of the People’s Republic of China. Other species of Actinidia are also found in China and in the eastern part of Japan and the north south-east Siberia. The active cultivation of China began in the early 20th century, when the seeds were introduced to New Zealand by Isabel Fraser, the head of the College for Girls, Wanganui, after attending missionary schools in China. Seeds were sown in 1906, the nursery worker Wanganui Alexander Ellison, and gave the first fruits of the vine in 1910.
The well-known cultivar Actinidia deliciosa «Hayward” was launched Hayward Wright in Avondale, New Zealand, about 1924. It was originally grown in the home garden, but on a commercial scale cultivation began in the 1940s.
Italy is currently the leading producer of kiwifruit in the world, along with New Zealand, Chile, France, Greece, Japan and the United States. Kiwifruit is still produced in their places of birth in China, but China never even got into the top ten countries that are the best exporters of kiwifruit. There kiwi is grown mainly in the mountainous area upstream of the Yangtze River. Kiwi also grown in other areas of China, including Sichuan.
Almost all kiwifruit falling market, belong to several cultivars of Actinidia deliciosa: «Hayward» (Hayward), «Chico» (Chico), and “Saanihton 12» (Saanichton 12). Fruits of kiwifruit cultivars are virtually indistinguishable from each other.
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