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Think Whole Foods is Expensive? Japan HasĀ $25,000 Melons


Who would even buy these?!


12 Strawberries for $90 — 1.5 pounds of grapes for $700 — a melon for $12,500

That's right: those prices are real! In Japan, fruits are a status symbol and can be absurdly expensive. But how did they get to be the most expensive fruits in the world?

Muskmelon??? #muskmelon #sembikiya #??? #????

Une publication partagée par Katsuaki Usami (@usakatsu) le

Japan is a country of rich culture, ancient traditions and culinary delights. We're not just talking about sushi and sake — simple fruit is among the most respected and previous food. But why? In Japan, fruit consumption has always been scarce. It's a land of limited space and its people historically poor, so fruit has traditionally been seen as a luxury. It's also a culture that has values beauty and perfection, which makes the perfect fruit a highly prized novelty.

So what exactly makes these fruits so obscenely expensive? Their high prices are based on perfect appearance and unrivalled quality. The fruit is produced through huge effort via the most exacting methods: strawberries are pruned to only grow one fruit (to concentrate the sweetness), canteloupes are given hats to protect against sunburn, peaches are individually wrapped in linen on the branch to shield them from insects. Some fruits, like watermelons, are carefully grown into unsual shapes, like pyramids, squares and hearts. Once the fruit is harvested, it must reach the luxury retailer in 100% perfect condition: the color, the shape, the skin, the flavor, the smell. They are then specially packaged so that the consumer has the total luxury experience. 

Cubic watermelon #crazyjapan #omotesando

Une publication partagée par Cecilia Schena (@ceciliaske) le

But this is not for normal grocery shopping: these fruits are mainly bought as gifts, to be presented at weddings, business deals, and other major occasions. The gift of such high-end fruit demonstrates power, respect, and wealth. 

So does Japan have normal fruit?! The answer is yes: supermarkets are stocked with normal fruit for everday consumption at affordable prices (although these fruits are still grown to higher standards of quality than in most Western stores). 

What was the most expensive fruit ever sold? Yubari Rei melons are the last word in the world of fruits in Japan. In 2016, two pieces were auctioned for the modest sum of $25,000. 

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Une publication partagée par @puapupupu le

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Chef Tips and Tricks

VIDEO: Rustic Cherry Tart

Craving sweet? This rustic cherry tart is easy, quick and delicious!


  • 1 shortcrust pastry
  • 3 cups / 750 g. of cherries
  • 1/3 cup / 60 g. of sugar
  • 2/3 cup / 60 g. of almond flour
  • 4 tbsp. of brown sugar
  • Pistachios
  • A dash of milk


  1. Mix the cherries and sugar together. Let stand 20 minutes.
  2. Spread or roll out the shortcrust pastry, sprinkle with almond powder and brown sugar.
  3. Place the cherries in the center of the dough, leaving about 2 inches of free dough on the edges. Fold in the edges.
  4. Brush with milk (this will make the crust go golden), sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F/180°C.
  5. Top with a handful of chopped pistachios, and serve!

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