The Quest for the Hairless Kiwi and Kiwi Sommeliers (Yes There Are Kiwi Sommeliers)

By Noah Kaufman |


According to the Wall Street Journal, if scientists in New Zealand have their way the kiwi, otherwise known as the itchy grandpa of the fruit world, will make its way into your fruit salad without the hairy skin that has come to define it. Zespri, the world’s largest exporter of kiwis worldwide, has undertaken a multi-million dollar venture (backed by the tax payers of New Zealand) to Frankenstein a hairless kiwi that will be both easy and delicious to eat.  So far though, they’ve been coming up short.  

The kiwi business brings in $1 billion a year to New Zealand's national economy, and as such they take their hairy, green produce very seriously. And though it sounds like the plot of a lost Flight of the Concords episode, the country employs 17 official kiwi tasters who make the final call on what is and is not suitable for the New Zealand brand. What do these kiwi sommeliers think about the early attempts at breeding a naked fruit? It tasted “vegetabl-y.” Maybe not what you want on your tart.

But even if the nude kiwi doesn’t come to fruition, there’s another project in the works for an orange kiwi with a “spicy kick.” The scientists behind this fantastic idea say there’s no market for it right now, but don't you think a Sriracha kiwi would sell itself.

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