If you thought organic food was expensive, you’ll have a hard time fathoming these incredible fruit prices in Japan. In fact, the most expensive melons sold cost about what a year of college tuition would cost at an in-state university.
To be fair, those melons were an anomaly. The premium cantaloupes were bid on in an auction and broke the previous sales record, which was around $22,500. But, at some stores, even your average specially-grown strawberries are still going to cost around $4,395.
For connoisseurs of “luxury fruit,” their shopping experience is a lot like what you’d expect from jewelry shopping.
The items for sale are all unique, beautiful, and often enclosed in a glass case. And, just like jewelry shopping, you’re going to be spending some serious cash if you want to take any of those beauties home.
For many Japanese people, these fruits are much more than just a simple snack. They’re an important part of their culture. Soyeon Shim, the dean of School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained to CNN how and why these fruits could get so expensive.
To get these fruits looking impeccably beautiful can take a great deal of meticulous labor.
And that’s going to also drive up the cost. Farmers take years to perfect specific fruits and get them looking exactly how they want. And the end result of their efforts are some steep prices for their goods.
It can sound crazy to spend $320 per grape for unique “Ruby Roman” grapes, which is what the most expensive bunch on record sold for. But remember that it’s taken tons of time, energy, and effort to make that fruit as exceptional as it is. Plus, they represent much more than simply a bunch of grapes.
So next time you’re in Japan, make sure you check the price before buying that beautiful piece of fruit — or you could end up with a surprisingly hefty bill.