Not so long ago really.
Kiwi fruit history
Kiwifruit, Actinidia chinensis, was formerly known as the Chinese gooseberry. Surprisingly, although it is associated with New Zealand, kiwifruit actually originated in the Chang Kiang Valley of China. The Chinese used it as a tonic for children and women after childbirth due to its high nutritional value, but never truly enjoyed it as a fruit. It was first exported from Asia as an ornamental vine, perfect for arbors, in the early 1900s. The kiwifruit arrived first in 1904 in the United States and later in 1906 found its way to New Zealand. Yet it was the New Zealanders who recognized the potential of this succulent fruit and began cultivating it for commercial profit.