It looks like Japan is taking their fresh fruit pretty seriously these days. According to reports, a pair of premium melons” fetched a record setting sum of US$29,300 (3.2 million yen) at auction over the weekend. The fruit in question are Yubari melons which are considered a status symbol in Japan.
These were the first Yubari melons to be auctioned this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, and they were scooped up by a local fruit packing firm.
These “luxury fruit” are coveted by buyers seeking to up their social prestige or even shop owners who can attract customers by putting their expensive fruit on display. Yubari melons have the significance of wine in Japanese society, they are often purchased only to be gifted to friends and colleagues.
It’s not just any melon that will fetch a high price though. As with any other luxury product, there is an element of quality control with sellers seeking out melons with a perfectly spherical shape and a smooth rind with an even pattern. A t-shaped stalk is left on the fruit for presentation purposes and it is usually packaged in an ornate box.