When searching the internet you may come across two distinct spellings for this nutritious and delicious fruit – Kiwi Fruit or Kiwifruit. You might be wondering which of these spellings is correct.
The truth is, there is nothing wrong with either spelling, but “kiwifruit” has become the preferred spelling for most growers and vendors. Whether you prefer to spell it kiwi fruit or kiwifruit, you will still enjoy the sweet and succulent flavors of these versatile fruits.
A Brief History of Kiwifruit
The spelling of kiwifruit as one word was popularized in New Zealand. This makes sense when you consider that had the common spelling of “kiwi fruit” been adopted it could have caused considerable confusion.
This is because New Zealand is home to a bird named the Kiwi, which is also an affectionate nickname for people from New Zealand. If one were to call it a “Kiwi fruit” it could be misconstrued as having something to do with the bird or a native New Zealander. One might even think that a “Kiwi fruit” was the egg of the flightless kiwi bird!
It is likely the spelling “kiwifruit” was derived in New Zealand to avoid this confusion, and distinguish golden and green kiwifruit from any other entities with similar names.
When describing the people of New Zealand the word Kiwi is capitalized and the plural of this word-form is “Kiwis.” When using the word to describe the kiwi bird the k is not capitalized, and it remains “kiwi” when pluralized. Read more…
The kiwifruit originated in China, and there it was originally referred to as the Chinese gooseberry. The kiwifruit is considered the National Fruit of China. Kiwi fruit first came to New Zealand from China in the early part of the 20th century. The first commercial planting of kiwifruit came in 1937, and they became very popular with United States servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War II.
By 1952 the kiwifruit had found its way to America’s shores where it has been a favorite of fruit lovers ever since.
The kiwifruit was also known by yet a different name shortly after World War II. It was briefly marketed by the name of “Melonette,” but this was undesirable to importers because higher tariffs were collected for melons and berries. The name “kiwifruit” was suggested in 1962, and was named after the kiwi bird because of their similarities in appearance – they are both brown, furry, and quite small.
Since those modest beginnings “kiwifruit” has become the most popular form of the fruit’s name, but there is little wonder why many still call it a kiwi fruit.
To make matters of the kiwifruit’s name even more confusing, in modern China the fruit is called the Macaque peach. When referring to imported kiwifruit, a word roughly translated as “wonder fruit” is used to describe them.
Wonder-fruit is definitely a fine word to describe the versatile and delicious kiwifruit.
Varieties of Kiwifruit
Questions concerning the names of kiwifruit (or is it kiwi fruit?) also apply to individual varieties of the fruit. What follows is brief overview of the various varieties of kiwifruit you might encounter at your produce stand.
Green Kiwifruit – In America, green kiwifruit is the most familiar variety of the fruit. The green kiwifruit is also commonly called the fuzzy kiwifruit because of its soft, dull, light brown, fuzzy skin. The fruit is the size and shape of a large egg, somewhat ironic considering it was named after the kiwi bird.
It is called the green kiwifruit because of its bright green flesh, which is accentuated by tiny, crispy black seeds that make it even more palatable. The green kiwifruit has a sweet flavor, reminiscent of strawberries combined with melon.
SunGold Kiwifruit – The SunGold kiwifruit has a different shape and color than a green kiwifruit, and its skin is also smooth, as opposed to fuzzy. The flesh of this delicious fruit is usually a vibrant yellow.
The SunGold kiwifruit is shaped like a green kiwifruit but is smooth and lacking a fuzzy skin. It tastes slightly sweeter than the green variety with flavors that combine cool mango with citrus overtones.
Trust Zespri for all of your Kiwifruit needs
Whether you spell it “kiwifruit” or “kiwi fruit”, there is one name that you can trust to bring you the finest fruits on the market today. Zespri is dedicated to bringing you the sweetest, most delicious kiwifruit available in the world.
Whether you eat kiwifruit for its delicious taste, or for its nutritional value (kiwifruit has twice the Vitamin C content of an orange!), you can trust Zespri as your source for kiwifruit.