Kiwi is the term we use fondly for our human friends in New Zealand. The term derives from the native flightless
kiwi bird (the country’s national symbol) and Kiwis take pride in the endearment. They also take pride in their
kiwifruit - with good reason.
A superstar with serious iconic status, kiwifruit is beyond tasty: the high-fiber,
vitamin-and-mineral-rich, enzyme-loaded fruit was deemed the “world’s healthiest fruit” by Rutgers University. It’s one super fruit. And one super money maker.
While China technically grows more kiwifruit than any other country (it was originally called Chinese Gooseberry), they don’t export it. New Zealand, on the other hand, exports more than 80 million trays of the stuff each year – bless their fuzzy brown heads. The national industry is worth over $1 billion annually, and local growers have now developed more than150 varieties.
Meet Hayward Green – the brown and green kiwifruit you're most familiar with; Zespri Gold is the less furry, gold-centered variety you’ll find about town; and behold the hairless, bite-sized Arguta or kiwiberry variety. You’ll even encounter kiwifruit with names like Allison, Gracie or Bruno, but the fuzzy brown Hayward Green we’ve all come to know and love is now as iconic to New Zealand as the All Blacks, sheep and hokey-pokey ice cream.
Linger near any kiwi orchard Down Under and the sugary scent of fruit blossoms may overcome you. Kiwis credit the layers of volcanic ash that lie beneath the ground for the kiwifruit's tremendous growing power here. You’ll find macadamias, pistachios, persimmons, oranges, plums, cherries, olives, avocados, loquats and even ugli fruit growing alongside the kiwifruit, but nothing thrives quite so prolifically as the incredible, edible, nutritious, delicious, and in some cases, drivable kiwi. Now, that’s the stuff, oi!