Nergi, the second cousin of the kiwi was born in the Landes
Are you spending your holidays at the beginning of November in the Landes? So go to the market! There are good reasons to do it! A mini kiwi you don’t have to peel, the nergi, is coming for the first time on the stalls in the Landes!
The nergi is not bigger than an olive, and it is sold in a basket containing 15 fruit. Its skin is smooth and when you cut it in half, the inside looks like a kiwi in miniature; even its taste is a little sweeter. It is not surprising that they belong to the same family of the actinidias.
The crop starts at the beginning of September and the nergis are sold from October to December. It should be noted that the first plantations reserved to sale were realised in 2010, around Labatut.
Natural and without GMO!
The nergi or actinidia arguta has existed for centuries in Asia in nature. It is the New Zealand Research « Plant and Food Research » that has selected new varieties by natural way to find a solution to the fragility of the plant. In 2005, Sofruileg located in Labatut in the Landes got the exclusive licence of “Plant and Food Research” to organise the production and the promotion of its new varieties.
For now, about fifty hectares have been planted by 65 producers of the South-West. The male and female plants look like those of the kiwi, with thicker branches and greener and shinier leaves. The fruit is picked on a bunch. The crop is by hand, but it needs more caution than for the kiwi as the bunches are inside the tree. It is a very meticulous work which explains the price: 2.50 € the basket containing 125 grams.
Rich in vitamin C
The marketing nets are of two categories: the hypermarkets and the supermarkets and the restaurant industry where the Michelin-starred chefs enjoy cooking this new product which has the same nutritional qualities that the kiwi, including its Vitamin C content. But for now its production is limited, so you will find it only in some shops in Aquitaine.