This Is How Long Kiwis Last Before Going Bad

Sometimes the fruit aisle just calls to you, so you end up buying a bag of luscious fruit like kiwi with plans of fresh salads, smoothies, and homemade salsas. Despite your intentions, you may not use your kiwis as quickly as planned, and you may wonder how long there is before they go bad.

The kiwi's distinctive brown "furry" skin makes it a little harder to tell when the fruit is ripe. This skin is also why we call the fruit kiwi: Though the berry is native to mainland China and Taiwan and was originally called a gooseberry, per Britannica, U.S.-based marketers thought the name wouldn't appeal to consumers. So, they nicknamed it "kiwi" after New Zealand's brown and fuzzy national bird, since New Zealand is another place where the fruit thrives, reports Time.

Knowing where your kiwi comes from may help you know how long it will last, since kiwi harvested far away is likely to arrive in stores riper. It's grown commercially in China, New Zealand, and California, which means you can find fresh kiwi most of the year. California-grown kiwifruit is available from October through May, with the crops peaking in December and January, according to the California Department of Education.

Enjoying fresh, ripe kiwi

How long you can keep a kiwi depends on how ripe it was when you bought it. You can keep very firm, not-yet-ripe kiwi in your refrigerator for up to a month, according to the California Department of Education.

Oregon State University offers an easy way to know whether your kiwi is ripe. Lightly press against the skin. If the fruit inside gives a little, then it is ripe, but if it remains firm, it still needs a little time. The California Department of Education recommends consuming soft, ripe kiwi within five to ten days (as long as it has been refrigerated). And if you buy a kiwi that's already soft, of course, go ahead and enjoy it at its peak ripeness.

If you have some kiwi on hand, you may be curious about how to use this delicious fruit. Many people love to peel the kiwi and then slice it, while others actually eat the skin, biting into the fruit like an apple. You can't go wrong with a ripe kiwi on its own. However, if you plan to use it in a salsa or marinade, be aware that kiwi contains an enzyme called actinidin, which breaks down proteins found in meats and gelatin. If you use kiwi salsa in a fish taco, then, be sure to enjoy it right away.