Kiwi is a type of berry produced by woody vines of the genus Actinidia. Before being known as the kiwi, this also had the name of a melonette for marketing purposes. But along with time, its name changed to kiwi. The name comes from one of the bird species in New Zealand. The most common plant cultivar is Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’.
Generally, the fruit of the cultivar is oval. And has a size of a chicken egg. The skin is thin, has fur, and is fibrous. Its skin includes light brown, light melon, and golden like tan. It is known as a large berry. It has a sour taste, making it suitable as a topping for salads or yogurt at breakfast and snacking. The texture is very soft and has a sweet and unique taste. The seeds are arranged, black, and very small. They are safe to eat and will not taste when swallowed.
The plant comes from eastern China. The first information about the tree comes from 12th-century records during the Song dynasty. At that time, it was a wild plant used by the Chinese as food or medicinal concoctions. It is because the Chinese discovered it by accident. In the early 20th century, its cultivation began in China and spread to New Zealand. After that, New Zealanders did mass cultivation of it for commercial purposes. So that the fruit is the major agricultural commodity in New Zealand. The fruit is grown commercially through good care and professional development. Its marketing and shipping from New Zealand are one of the products they take seriously.
The genus Actinidia consists of 60 species. The fruits are varied, but you can identify all of them by their appearance and shape. The skin of each type also varies according to the color and thickness of the fur. The flesh also varies in color, texture, and taste, as well as water content. Some of them have an unpleasant taste, but some are tastier than most cultivars. Here are three types of them that are most popular and in-demand by the market, namely:
1. Hairy Kiwi
The most popular ones are Hayward, Blake, and Saanichton. On the skin, there is fur with brown coloring. The flesh is bright green with a lighter center, sometimes yellowish. Of the three types of it, the Hayward is the best known. Hayward one is large and shaped like an egg with a sweet flavor. The Saanichton type comes from British Columbia. It has a square shape when compared to the Hayward. Saanichton has a similarly sweet flavor but is a bit tougher on the inside. Then the last type is the Blake. It is self-reproducing and has smaller fruits and oval. And the flavor is considered not as good as the other two types.
2. Kiwi berry
This type has the size of a grape. It has almost the same taste, texture, and flesh as the hairy one. So it is easier and feels softer when eaten. It is also known as the baby, grape, dessert, and cocktail kiwi. There are three species of it, Actinidia arguta, Actinidia colomikta, and Actinidia polygama. It has fast growth. The tree is strong even though it is a plant that can adapt to various seasons.
3. Golden Kiwi
This type produces a fruit called the golden kiwi. The skin is soft and bronze in color. The color of the fruit varies, from bright melon to bright lemon. This species has a sweeter and fragrant taste than Actinidia deliciosa. One of the most attractive varieties is the one with red flesh in the middle, while the outside is yellow. The yellower of it is golden, the more expensive it will be. In addition, because the skin is not too hairy like a hairy one, the golden one is more popular because you can eat it without peeling it.
All types of them are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, if you have to compare the two substances, the yellow one contains higher levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, minerals, and folic acid than the other ones. The high content of antioxidants and vitamin C can relieve asthma symptoms. Vitamin C can increase your body’s resistance to fight diseases, one of which is the flu. But the advantage of the green one is that this contains an enzyme called actinidin enzyme more than the other ones. This enzyme functions to break down proteins in the body.
The difference between the two is in the outer physical part of the fruit. The green one has a physical form that is light brown with an oval shape and hairy skin. But the yellow one has a dark brown color with hairy skin that is smoother than the green one. The green one does not have an odd shape on the top. But the other ones have a conical shape on them like a crown. Usually, the yellow one will become sweeter when the texture is softer. To see if the fruit is ripe or not, you can feel it when you gently press the flesh. The ripe one will feel soft when lightly pressed, such as peaches or avocados. It can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week for the green one or about two weeks for the yellow one.
Both must also have differences in the flesh. In the green one, the color of the flesh is emerald with black seeds that collect in the center of the fruit. But the yellow one has a bright yellow flesh color. The color of the red and black seeds gather in the center in lesser amounts. Furthermore, the harvest period for these two fruits is also different. The green one has a long harvest period, starting from May to January or earliest until December. But the yellow one has a harvest period that starts from May to August.