Why do the English hate Kiwis?
November 25, 2006, 4:49 pm
Filed under: england, international relations, travel

fruit_apple_kiwi1.jpgI’ve noticed that English agricultural protectionism seems to have led to English people hating kiwi fruits – not so much the fruit, but what they represent.

I’m not making this up. On TV the other night I saw Helen Clarke, New Zealand’s PM, defending against accusations that kiwi fruit lead to global warming through being flown around the world. She pointed out that kiwi fruits are generally shipped, not flown, so the whole flying/global warming connection was redundant.

Then I read an article the other day in one of the big papers about kiwi fruit’s inferiority to apples. It said that while in England there are more than 2,000 apple varieties, kiwi fruits are derived from a single cultivar. The English love their apples – I even went to Apple Day at the Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago, where people could bring their apples from home to be identified as one of the aforementioned 2,000 varieties.

So, fair enough, English people should eat good English produce like apples, rather than foreign food like kiwi fruits. But why target the kiwi? Why not pineapple, or mangoes, that seem suspiciously cheap at the markets here?

I am Australian, and we’re fond of a bit of kiwi-bashing ourselves. But over here I feel like defending our antipodean little brother.