Kiwi Fruit – A Chinese Carrying an English Name

Kiwi fruit, with a scientific name as Actinidia chinensis Planch, is actually called monkey peach in China. There was a Kiwi International Conference held on November 6, 2008, in New Zealand.  During the conference, there were more than 200 experts from 19 countries around the world agreed that Kiwi fruit was originated from Hubei Yichang city Yiling District WuDuHe town.

The fruit is oval in shape, initially it is greenish brown in color and will turn into red brown when the fruit is mature. The fruit skin is furry but edible.  In it is filled with yellow or green pulp and a row of black or red seeds. It was said as monkeys loves this fruit very much, thus it is called monkey peach.  There is saying that, due to its furry skin, from far, it looks like the back of the monkey head.  Whatever its name is, it cannot be denied that it is a very tasty and nutritious fruit.

Kiwi fruit is soft, sweet but with a bit of sour. Its flavor is described as a mixture of three other types of fruits: strawberry, banana and pineapple. Kiwi fruit contains ACTINIDINE, proteolytic enzymes, pectin tannins and different types of sugars.  There are not only many types of minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, germanium and at least 17 types of amino acids, but also rich in vitamin C, grape acid, fructose, citric acid, malic acid, fat.

In 1904, kiwi fruit was brought to New Zealand from Yichang, after that it was widely planted in New Zealand, initially it was called the New Zealand Yichang gooseberry.  Later renamed Meilong melon, but New Zealand melon tax is higher, it was renamed again, as kiwi fruit.  The current kiwifruit has smoother skin fur compare to its ancestors, Chinese gooseberry or monkey peach, which is unevenly distribution of hair, rougher touch.

There are 59 species of Actinidia originated in China, of which four species are of great value in production, such as Actinidia chinensis, Actinidia chinensis, and Actinidia chinensis.

Kiwi fruit usually lives in hill slopes.  There are some appear in the garden planting. There are 66 species of Actinidia found, of which 62 species are distributed naturally in China.  Two of species, are cultivated in the world for their fruits.  The branches and fruits of Actinidia chinensis are covered with fluff (such as Qin Mei, Xu Xiang, Hayward, etc.), and the outer epidermis of the branches and fruits of Actinidia chinensis is with smoother skin (e.g. red Yang, golden fruit, etc.). These two species are mainly distributed in the Yangtze River Basin in Central China and Qinling Mountains, and in the south of the Hengduan mountains. [3]

Before the beginning of 1970s, the cultivation of kiwifruit was still limited in New Zealand, and the cultivation area were still small. Since then, the unique flavor of kiwi fruit has been accepted and welcomed by consumers worldwide, so kiwifruit has then developed rapidly in the world.  Now, beside New Zealand; Chile, Italy, France, Japan and China have also become the major producers of kiwi fruit.