Very firm kiwifruit can be kept in the refrigerator for weeks. When removed and kept at room temperature, it will ripen. Kiwifruit won't keep for nearly as long in the refrigerator after it begins to ripen.
Kiwifruit did not originate in New Zealand. It was originally grown in the Chang Kiang Valley of China, where it was considered a delicacy by the court of the great Khans.
For many years, the kiwifruit was known as the Chinese Gooseberry. Kiwi was first noticed by Western civilization in 1847. Then, in 1906, the vine was introduced to New Zealand, where it flourished in the fertile soil.
It is believed that kiwifruit was named for New Zealand's national bird, the kiwi, whose fuzzy brown exterior resembles the skin of the kiwifruit. (Source: California Kiwifruit Commission)