Food | Uplifting

In Japan Fruit Can Cost More Than Your Car

You might think that purchasing fruit can get a little expensive in your town, but at the Sembikiya's Tokyo outlet in Japan fruit costs more than some cars.

This trend of fancy fruit isn't just in these stores, but all across Japan. There was actually a cantaloupe that sold at an auction for 3 million yen which is $27,240! That's a lot for some fruit!

The Sembikiya outlet is set up to look like some of the most high end jewelry stores. There are glass displays cases holding these items like they are gems but when you actually get up close they are all fruits!

In these "fruit parlors" you can find items like heart shaped watermelon worth $100 each, or "Ruby Roman" grapes that are the size of a golf ball.

According to Dean of the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Soyeon Shim,"fruits are treated differently in Asian culture and in Japanese society especially. Fruit purchase and consumption are tied to social and cultural practice."

There is a lot of effort involved in producing the perfect shaped fruit. Okuda Nichio grows strawberries and says that "It's hard getting the shape of these strawberries right, they can sometimes turn out like globes." He says that "it's taken me 15 years to reach this level of perfection."

He specializes in Bijin-him (beautiful princess) strawberries which grow in a scoop shape and are the size of tennis balls. They each take 45 days to grow and only about 500 grow per year. While that doesn't sound like it would be a profitable business, each is worth 500,000 yen which is $4,395!

Why are people spending so much on fruit? Shim explains that "people purchase these expensive fruits to demonstrate how special their gifts are to the recipients, for special occasions or for someone socially important, like your boss."

The fruit is always packaged in beautiful ways, almost like jewelry in individual boxes and ribbons.

What do you think, would you pay that much money for fruit?

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