World’s Most Expensive Fruits

Across the world, mostly Japan are fruits
grown to perfection but command a high price. On this episode we’ll take a look at some
of the most expensive fruits ever grown. The Japanese crown melon only grown in Shizuoka
prefecture is a $200 melon. These melons are grown in specific conditions,
raised beds off the ground in a greenhouse allows them to grow and harvest them year-round. 100 days from seed to harvest each melon is
tended to daily. They are cleaned and dusted, given newspaper
hats to shield them from the sun and the raised beds control exactly how much water they receive. There are 20 different varieties of crown
melons and each melon must fall into a one of four grades: fuji, yama, shiro and yuki. Yuki contains melons with minor defects, the
remaining three grades depend on the sugar content of the melon. 55% of the melons fall into shiro grade, 25%
yama and 1 in 1000 or 0.1% are graded fuji. Each plant grows only 1 fruit, initially,
there are multiple but all but a couple are cut off. Of the remaining few the best is selected
to fully develop. As the fruit develops, a net pattern appears
on the outside of the melon, this pattern depending on how perfect is can drive the
price up significantly. Each melon has water poured over it by hand
and is wrapped in white paper to help the development of this pattern. After being polished by hand with white gloves
the crown melon is ready for auction. Being juicy and sweet with a unique yellow
flesh inside, these melons are not only important in Japan’s gift-giving culture but are an
exquisite fruit to eat. The highest any of these have sold is $45,000
to a fuji grade or perfect crown melon. Coming from northern Japan on the island of
Hokkaido is the Yubari King Melon. This hybrid orange-fleshed melon is prized
for it’s sweetness. Grown in volcanic soil in greenhouses with
individual hats to protect them from sunburn these melons also use the four grade system
based on their sweetness. Its recommended to consume these melons within
2 or 3 days of harvesting. Typically costing $225 for a pair of these
melons, in 2017 a pair of them sold at auction for $27,000. The square watermelon a staple of Japanese
culture are given as fancy gifts. These watermelons are grown in a box to maintain
their square shape and are often harvested unripe so they keep longer for when they are
given as a gift. The idea is someone will keep it on display
in their home so being unripe will make them last a great deal longer. This watermelon was invented in 1978 by graphic
designer Tomoyuki Ono. The idea is that they’d be able to fit snugly
in the fridge and wouldn’t roll when trying to cut them. They usually sell for around $83 but not usually
more than $100. With that said one did sell for $800 at auction
which isn’t all that uncommon as the best fruits will command drastically higher prices
at auction. Other shapes have been grown like hearts and
pyramids as we see here. While primarily a Japanese tradition, these
watermelons can be found these days in Germany as well. Only grown in Hokkaido Japan the Densuke or
sometimes called black watermelon is known not for its dark outer color but it’s incredibly
sweet taste. A single melon will go for around $250 if
its an average melon, premium melons have sold for $4500 and even $6000. These high price tags are achieved at a fruit
auction in June and sold to the highest bidder. These melons can also but purchased online
if finding them in-store proves to be a challenge. Developed in Japan, we are seeing a pattern
here, in 1972 the dekopon is a hybrid between Kiyomi and ponkan. A kiyomi is a hybrid of a Miyagawa Wase mikan
or easy peeling tangerine and an orange where the ponkan is a high yielding citrus the size
of an orange that is a hybrid of mandarin and pomelo. The resulting cultivated fruit the dekopon
is this seedless variety of mandarin orange with its iconic nob on top. Likely named deko meaning convex in regards
to the bump on top and pon one of the varieties as just mentioned that is mixed to create
this fruit. Originally any fruit coming from Kumamoto
was trademarked dekopon so fruits from other regions would have an altered name like himepon
from ehime prefecture or hiropon from Hiroshima prefecture. After a fee was agreed to be paid they were
all renamed to just dekopon. Because of its bump on top and failure to
reduce the acidity of the fruit the dekopon was never awarded an agricultural registration
number. Grown in greenhouses to ensure a constant
temperature the dekopon is harvested from December to February during Japan’s winter. They are harvested and left for up to 40 days
for the citric acid levels to drop and the sugars to increase. Getting the citric acid and sugar levels right
is needed to be able to sell them under the name dekopon. This fruit isn’t just available in Japan
but in Brazil as well where it is called Kinsei. Brazillian farmers were able to successfully
grow this citrus in the highlands of Sao Paulo state thanks to the help of Japanese farmer
Unkichi Taniwaki. Instead of costing $72 for 6 fruits in Japan
they sell for $0.50 each in Brazil. They are now being grown in California in
the United States as well which in the commercial market in 2011 un the name Sumo Citrus. Next up we have a pineapple from the Lost
Garden of Heligan. What is this place and what does it have to
do with pineapples you might ask, it goes back to the pineapple pit of the Victorian
era. The pineapple pit a method of growing pineapples
developed during that time that is being resurrected in recent times. 3 trenches covered in glass, all below ground,
provides an environment where it is possible to grow pineapples in cold climates. This was done back in the Victorian Era as
pineapples were seen as a food of the rich, it was a symbol of wealth and royalty to have
a pineapple on the dinner table. The invention of the steamship made the pineapple
pit obsolete in a handful of years. The first pineapple pit discovered was at
the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the UK. It was renovated in 1993 and put back into
use. 2 varieties of south African pineapples are
grown here the Jamaica Queen and Smooth Cayenne a pineapple first brought to Britain in 1819. In 1997 Prince Charles paid a visit to check
out the pineapples while they were budding. The first pineapple pulled out of the pit
after the renovation was in 1997, the first one was tasted and checked just to make sure
it didn’t taste of manure, the 2nd pineapple harvested was given to Queen Elizabeth II
for her 50th anniversary on the throne. Wait what manure you might ask? Well normally it takes two years to grow a
pineapple but growing a pineapple in England though took 5 years to develop the plant and
an additional 2 years to develop the fruit. Grown under straw, along with manure and horse
urine or in Victorian style these pineapples grown in Cornwall England, don’t actually
come in contact with the waste materials if you were wondering. It is very labor-intensive to grow one of
these pineapples around 1600 in cost alone and if it were to go to market it would fetch
around $17,000. With this said though these pineapples aren’t
sold to the public but instead are shared among the staff who works so hard to grow
them. Over 30 tonnes of horse manure are barrowed
into the garden, the manure keeps the greenhouse warm through the winter maintaining a temperature
of 52 Fahrenheit or 11 degrees Celcius to 75 Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius throughout
the year. How this works, there are trenches around
the growing pit with holes going out to the trenches. As the horse manure decomposes in the trenches
it releases heat through the holes into the pineapple pit simulating a tropical environment. What makes growing these pineapples so expensive
such as the one grown in 2010 at a cost of $17,318 is the fact the manure needs to be
continually shoveled out and replaced with fresh manure to keep the transfer of heat
into the pit constant. Also, the fact it took 5 years to grow one
would have something to do with this price tag. The Sekai-ichi Apple an extremely large apple,
a modern Japanese variety that is a cross between golden delicious and red delicious
is perfectly round and can weigh up to 2 lbs or almost a kg. First bred in Morioka Japan and introduced
to the public market in 1974, today they are grown in the Aomori prefecture which is the
main region apples have been grown since 1875. Today half of the Japanese apples are grown
there with many of them being exported around the world. The name Sekai Ichi means the best in the
world in Japanese, a typical price for one apple is around $20. Each fruit is hand-pollinated and is washed
in honey. Appearing pinkish with a red blush, this apple
with a sweet aroma offers a juicy, crisp firm bite, is sweet and mild with little to no
tartness. Available in the fall and into the winter
the trees require constant attention by gardeners throughout the growing season. High in vitamin c and fiber, being such a
large apple these apples are packed full of fiber and are very filling. The sekai-ichi apples boost the immune system
and contain a healthy source of potassium which is found along with most of the nutrients
within the peel or just under the peel so eating the whole apple is recommended for
the maximum health benefits. Being a tasty firm apple these apples are
mostly consumed raw instead of baked or cooked. They keep for 3 to 4 months if stored in a
cool or dry location. They pair well with blackberries, citrus and
pears and are sometimes dressed up with caramel or honey. A royal name for some expensive grapes the
Ruby Roman Grapes were named this by public vote in 2008. These table grapes are grown and marketed
entirely in Ishikawa Prefecture Japan. These grapes much like the Sekai Ichi apples
are enormous compared to normal-sized ones. Measuring about the size of a ping pong ball
the Ruby Roman Grapes went on sale for the first time in 2008 for $910 which works out
to be $26 per grape. Being the most expensive grapes in the world,
in July 2016 a single bunch of them with 26 grapes weighing 700 grams sold for 1.1 million
yen or about $8400. This was sold in 2016’s first auction of
the grapes at a wholesale market in Kanazawa. What makes grapes so expensive? Every grape is individually checked for excellence
and quality, after passing inspection they receive a certification seal signally they
meet the strict standards. There are strict rules to sell ruby roman
grapes, each grape must weigh over 20g and contain over 18% sugar. There is a tier up called the premium class
which each grape must weigh 30g and the entire bunch weighs at least 700g. Under this criteria, some years won’t have
any premium class grapes available such as in 2011 but in comparison in 2010, 6 grape
bunches met the guidelines. These grapes are sweet juicy and taste…
like a grape. The general consensus is they don’t taste
all that much different than normal delicious tasting grapes. Finally the Egg of the Sun Mango, this mango
grown in Miyazaki prefecture, Japan is a premium mango variety, known as Irwin that has been
quite commonly grown in Florida since the 1940s. These mangoes can be bought for only a few
dollars from a roadside fruit stand in Miami. The mangoes grown in Japan receive extra attention
throughout its grown cycle. Each mango is individually attended to with
each getting a small net that redirects light to hit the skin at all angles giving the mango
a perfect uniform ruby red color. Each mango gets a personal cushion to catch
it when it falls, the reason for this is when picked mangoes along with many other fruits
they haven’t fully developed and may end up being not as sweet as they could be. Fruit that falls off the tree only does so
at premium ripeness and sugar development. The egg of the sun mango is highly juicy with
minimal fibrous material, they are sweet and tart with coconut, pineapple overtones. Not only are these mangoes delicious, but
they are also apart of Japanese perishable gift culture. If you were wondering why so many of these
expensive fruits come from Japan they are expensive gifts given which is woven into
Japanese culture. These expensive fruits are found in high-end
department stores and upscale grocery stores in high ticket fruit sections. A record breaking sale of two of them sold
for $3744 at a Japanese wholesale auction. See if you can get this episode’s riddle
“The leaves are on the fruit, The fruit is on the leaves. What am I?”