Kiwi in America
Kiwi was the gateway drug. Native to southern China, where it was known as mihoutao, or monkey peach, the hairy fruit with the chlorophyll-rich, jade-green interior first started coming in bulk to the U.S. via New Zealand in the 1950s under the name “Chinese gooseberry.” It made little headway — perhaps due to Cold War-era fears of Communist China — before it was rechristened in honor of the equally fuzzy kiwi bird. But not until the early ’80s did it begin appearing with merciless persistence at restaurants across Manhattan, in tart after tart, fruit salads, compotes and even savory dishes, lending an algal tinge to beurre blanc. By 1983, it was stocked in every supermarket and featured in recipes on the back of cake-mix boxes.
From “How the Kiwi Changed New York’s Food Scene” by Ligaya Mishan for The New York Times; Photo by Sweta Verma
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