But isn’t kiwi a New Zealander? It is the nickname for the people of New Zealand, yes, and it is not considered offensive to call them that. But kiwi is also a bird and a nickname for kiwifruit.
A bird? Yep. The kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand. It’s been an important part of the lives of the native people long before the white men arrived.
… Kiwi feather cloaks (kahu kiwi), originally made by sewing kiwi skins together, were taonga (treasures) usually reserved for chiefs. Kiwi feathers, now woven into flax cloaks, are still valued. Māori also ate kiwi, preserving them in the birds’ fat, and steaming them in a hāngī (earth oven).Kiwi and people: early history
Kiwifruit is often sold as “kiwi” in North America and some parts of Europe. Contrary to common belief, it is not native to New Zealand but, rather, to Hupeh, Szechuan, Kiangsi and Fukien in the Yangtze Valley of northern China, and Zhejiang Province on the coast of eastern China. It wasn’t culativated in New Zealand until 1909.
So, why is it that the world came to know the fruit as kiwifruit and not by any of its Chinese names? It’s marketing. The locally grown fruit needed a name that the locals could relate to and, hence, its new name in New Zealand.
The story goes that American soldiers stationed there during World War II took a liking to the fruit and, by virtue of its popularity, by the 1950s, it was being exported to North America among other places. The commercial name? Kiwifruit, of course, but the contracted form — kiwi — was what it came to be known in the United Stated and Canada.
This kiwi martini is a muddled drink. Do not be tempted to throw everything into the blender and puree the fruit because it’s really nice to get small bits of kiwi as you sip the cold cocktail drink. For more about muddling, see the linked post below.