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World’s Most Expensive Fruit: Yubari King Melon, Do You Know How Much it Costs?

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Yubari King Melon

At a traditional auction, marking the start of the summer season, two coveted Yubari melons were sold for almost 18 lacs, which is more than 22 times the last year’s price. A pair of melons were sold for 120,000 yen last year. Even in the normal times it costs a few thousand yen. 

Cultivation of Yubari King Melon

Renowned for its high quality and sweet taste, this cantaloupe cultivar is farmed in Yubari in Hokkaido (Japan). There they are grown in extremely difficult and harsh winter conditions there. Yubari has a mountainous environment and nutrient-rich volcanic soils with high rainfall. They are grown under specific criteria that ensure a perfect round shape, good rind pattern, a decorative stem and a high sweetness level.

Each melon takes a 100 days’ time to grow and are also given special paper hats to protect them from the sun. 

It is hybrid of two cantaloupes cultivars, namely – Earl’s Favourite & Burpee’s "Spicy" Cantalopue.

A top-grade melon should be perfectly round and have an exceptionally smooth rind.  

Harvesting

Its harvest basically starts in the month of May and lasts up to the month of August.  Before harvesting, the inspection process is extremely thorough and careful. Farmers flick and knock on the fruit to listen to a deep, low sound, their rind is checked for a perfect lattice pattern and the fruit as a whole is checked for its distinctive fragrance. 

Why Yubari Melons are so costly?

Yubari Melons are expensive as they are protected by geographical indication which makes them an exclusive product. A melon such as this is simply sold to the farmers as an incentive to stimulate the industry. An attention-grabbing status symbol for the buyers. 

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