A Brief History
Because it was first discovered in China, the kiwifruit was originally known as the Chinese gooseberry, a nickname coined by other countries that delighted in the fruit during the mid-1800s. Kiwifruit got its modern name from New Zealand natives; turns out kiwi (the fruit) closely resembles kiwi (the bird)—a small, flightless, fuzzy brown creature, and the country’s national bird.
Kiwifruit is the edible berry of a woody vine that grows off a trellis, similar to how grapes are cultivated. It’s found in the genus Actinidia, of which there are about 60 species—the skin of the fruit can vary in size, shape, fuzziness, and color, while the flesh may sport differences in color, juiciness, texture, and taste. However, despite the different varieties, kiwifruit is the most common name for all commercially grown fruit from this genus.