cultural oddities

i’m always momentarily nonplussed when i come across american recipes which call for “kiwi” and wonder *why* one would want to decorate one’s cake/pie (or whatever) with cute, wee flightless birdies, then the american leaving off the “fruit” in “kiwi fruit” thing hits me.

i’m ashamed to admit that i am unsure whether kiwi fruit is native to enzed or if we’ve just tacked fruit onto the end of kiwi to avoid confusion with the bird? i shall have to investigate.

i am sure i already knew *some* of this in the dim dark recesses of my mind:

The kiwi fruit was a much-appreciated treat in ancient China, and was introduced into New Zealand in 1906, where it was called “Chinese gooseberry” (although it isn’t related to the green gooseberry). Years later, as foreign demand for the fruit increased, New Zealanders renamed it for their national treasure, the kiwi bird. Today, kiwi fruit is also a commercial crop in California.,1523,54,00.html

although that doesn’t really explain why they dropped the “fruit” in america. perhaps it was assumed that only a very small proportion of the population knew there *was* a bird…

2 thoughts on “cultural oddities

  1. when I was a wee kiwi in kiwiland we called them chinese gooseberries. I would be rather concerned with the practice of adorning pavlovas and such with sliced kiwi.

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