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World’s “Most Expensive” Fruit
There’s a story going around about the Yubari King Melon, grown in a small town in Japan, that is the “world’s most expensive fruit”. Reportedly a pair of the hybrid canteloupes recently sold for $45,000.
  We looked into it a bit and learned that the Yubari melon story might be the most successful farm-related PR stunt ever.
  Fruit production is often tied into the gift giving culture in Japan and it can also have spiritual connotations, with the best produce sometimes offered up to the gods within Japanese temples.
  One thing that makes Yubari melons so sweet is that the area is surrounded by volcanos, and the ashy soil provides excellent drainage. The town also experiences extremes between daytime and nighttime temperatures, which leads to sweeter melons.
  Each plant is cultivated to produce just a single fruit, which farmers wipe clean daily. The growing melons are even capped with paper hats to prevent sun scald and other blemishes. Each is harvested by hand, with the stems carefully snipped with scissors.
  After harvest, Yubari melons are classified into one of four grades: yuki, shiro, yama, and fuji. Only one out of 1,000 fruits make the highest fuji grade. Certified melon inspectors tap and smell the melons, seeking out a low, deep sound and sweet fragrance. So the melons ARE special, but they’re not $45,000 special.
  What happened with the $45,000 melons is that a Japanese produce company bought the melons as part of a special promotion and then got lots of publicity when they served up the tasty melons at a public event. The result was millions of dollars of publicity for the sweet little melons that typically retail for the very high price of $28 to $71. That’s still very expensive but it’s not $45,000.
  The lesson here is that if you can come up with a really good story, you might be able to sell your fruits or veggies for a fortune.

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4