(Click here for a picture of male and female kiwi flowers)
As I’ve mentioned before, when I first saw kiwi fruit back in the Seventies, they were called Chinese gooseberries. But, although the fruit are greenish and furry and have tiny seeds, they aren’t really anything like gooseberries.
Or so I thought until we started growing them.
Despite the torrential rain that destroyed the kiwi blossoms a fortnight ago, the female flowers did mange to set fruit which are now beginning to grow; it’s not just the size, there really is something indefinably gooseberry-like about them at this stage.
Incidentally, there are still a few fruits and vegetables that I think of as perfectly normal but which don’t seem to exist in Spain. Gooseberries are grosella espinosa or perhaps uva espina, but no one really knows what I mean when I mention them. Riubarbo is rhubarb, but I’ve never seen it on sale. (Perhaps custard is a pre-requisite for a rhubarb-eating culture, and natillas doesn’t quite qualify.)
I’m still unclear about translating ‘swede’, too; calling it nabo sueco seems less than adequate. Then again, I seem to remember I never really worked that one out when I lived in the States, either.