The World's Best Melons (Found In Yubari)
How do you explain 2 melons selling for $5,200? It seems inconceivable that melons would sell for so much in today's market. But these melons would be considered a steal compared to last year. Last year 2 of these melons sold for $23,900. No, they are not solid gold, they are Yubari melons grown in Japan.
Yubari melons are renowned for their sweetness and perfect proportions. Where else but in Japan would proportion be so revered? The Japanese believe in the beauty of simplicity. The Japanese word Wabi, meaning quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste, expounds on simplicity. The simplicity of these melons combined with their unusual sweetness make them a perfect gift in Japan.
The Yubari melon looks similar to a regular cantaloupe. The reddish-orange flesh is renowned for it's sweetness and is considered the perfect gift during summer gift giving in Japan. If you are looking for a gift for your boss or a colleague, this melon will tell of your respect for the other person.
It is said that the high volcanic ash content in the soil at Yubari makes it perfect for growing the sweetest, juiciest melons in the world. The melons are hand picked and put through a strict grading. There are four grades available, price is higher for the higher grade. Yubari melon farmers cannot sell their melons to people directly. All of the melons go to the Japanese Agriculture Association for grading.
The town of Yubari began as a coal mining town and was very successful until the coal mines closed in the 1980s. This town of over 100,000 people went bankrupt in 2006. This city now claims only 13,000 residents and is over 5 million dollars in debt. The melons were the sole hope, and with the fall in price this year who knows what will happen.
Nestle attempted to help in 2007 by marketing a Yubari melon KitKat bar. 10 yen of the proceeds for every bar was donated to the city of Yubari. The reviews I have read about this KitKat bar are very good. They say the melon flavor is sweet, but not overpowering. However, they were a limited edition bar, produced only in Japan and I have not been able to locate a place to buy them.
The highest price for the Yubari melons are paid for the first harvest. After that the melons will go on sale in high end stores for $100 to $500 each. These melons are not for the average joe. Who do you know that will pay $100 for a fruit that will rot if not eaten in a timely manner? The same people who pay for Rolex, Gucci and Jimmy Cho. A brand name is a brand name, and some will pay whatever it takes for the referred prestige.