History and origin of the kiwi
The kiwi originated in China, back then it was a fruit known as "yang-tao". Although it is native to the Himalayan foothills today its associated with New Zealand because it was there that had an important commercial development in the mid-twentieth century. The oldest evidence of this fruit dates back to the Ming Dynasty in 1200 BC. There is evidence for the first time of use in medicine in the 300 BC. In 1845 Robert Fortune was the first European to report on it.
In 1904 Isabel Fraser (teacher in Wanganui, New Zealand) returned from a trip to China with black seeds that were planted by the horticulturist Alexander Allison. A year after the first kiwis in New Zealand were grown but still was called Chinese gooseberries. A turning point for kiwis was the year 1928 where scientific horticulturist Hayward Wright developed an excellent variety of the Chinese gooseberry that stood out for its oval shape, long shelf life and delicious taste. Today, Hayward is the most popular variety in the kiwis. In 1952 McLouglin send by boat 20 boxes of kiwis to England with a cargo of lemons and this hit the market in Covent Garden in London. Such was the success of those who tasted the fruit that the buyer placed an order for 1,500 boxes spreading the popularity of this fruit by the Anglo-Saxon world.
In 1959 finally this fruit was called "kiwi" after ruling the previous "Chinese gooseberry" or "melonette" by the cost in tax they had. The Kiwis from New Zealand called this fruit "kiwi" in recognition of a national symbol of kiwi bird and to especially highlight the similarities between the fruit and the bird. This flightless bird has feathers light brown color and a round belly.
Main producer countries of kiwis
In terms of area planted Turkey has become the world leader with a share of almost 30% moving Italy to a second position, the historic leader. In third and fourth place are New Zealand and Chile. Among these four countries they plant about 78% of total cultivation area of kiwis. Therefore we talk about a very concentrated area to supply the world market.
As the world's largest producers, Italy currently leads the production of kiwi, followed by New Zealand, Chile, Greece, Japan and the United States. The 4 first mentioned countries cover more than 80% of world production. Interestingly their country of origin (China) has never been among the top 10 producers of this fruit.
Spain stands out as the largest importer of kiwi in volume worldwide. In export stand 2 of its largest producers, New Zealand leading the ranking and closely followed by Italy.
Properties and benefits of kiwis
Did you know that a kiwi provides more vitamin C than oranges and lemons?
This is just one of its strengths, its high content of vitamin C and E, other highlights:
- They are low in calories and therefore ideal for slimming diets.
- It is rich in potassium containing more than bananas and has high amounts of copper, magensium and folate.
- Its fibre content helps the proper functioning of the digestive system, is ideal as a laxative.
- It helps digestion and prevents the formation of gases through the actinia.
- It helps eliminate excess fluid from the body and thus prevent the retention of these.
soy más fan de los Zespri pero los italianos muy buenos también, antes me daba miedo comprarlos pero ahora veo que los embalais mucho mejor para evitar que el mensajero los golpee, gracias.Mar Sanz