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The True Origin of Kiwifruit
Although its name strongly suggests a New Zealand origin, the kiwifruit is in fact, native to China's Yangtze Valley. Until midway through the 20th century, the fruit was known as Chinese gooseberry. Once a commercial industry was developed in New Zealand, fruit growers apparently decided that the furry egg-shaped fruit bore a symbolic resemblance to their native flightless bird, the kiwi. Here was a fruit to call their own; and flog to the rest of the world, and so the Chinese gooseberry was reborn as the kiwifruit.
If there is an irony in this story, this is it: China now imports quite a lot of kiwifruit from New Zealand.
An enormous amount of rice is grown and consumed in China, but to characterise Chinese as rice eaters, or call China a "rice-based" society, as the Asia Rice Foundation does, is quite misleading. It is true that rice is China's most important grain crop, but Chinese wheat consumption is nearly as high … more