Asia’s Exotic Luxury Fruit
Japan is well known for their love affair with exotic and expensive high-end fruits. Here’s a look at 8 of The Fruit Company‘s favorites:
1. Musk Melon
The Musk Melon runs for $100-$400 apiece. Considering that the melon gets its name from smell of its musky insides, we hope it’s a special kind of musk, the kind of musk you want to bottle and use as cologne. Chances are it’s just a musk. As for the fruit itself, it’s decidedly something special. Grown in Tokyo, the Musk Melon is meticulously cultivated using devoted greenhouses that keep precise temperature for optimal melon harvesting. Farmers limit the number of melons on the vine to three in order for the melons to receive the proper nutrients. As the melons begin to develop, one of the three gets chosen (the chosen one?) and the others are removed from the vine so that this special musk melon, this musk melon to end all musk melons, can thrive.
The fruit’s color and taste are supposed to be enhanced versions of your average work-a-day melon. The musk however, is that little something special.
2. Japanese Grapes
My mother used to peel my brothers grapes when he was a child. Even though I was just a newborn at the time, I knew it was a ridiculous thing to do. They’re just grapes, who cares that much about grapes? Well, apparently the buyer of a $1000 USD bunch of Ruby Roman Grapes in a Japanese auction in 2005. Ruby Roman Grapes are said to be incredibly sweet and delicious, and at $26 dollars a grape, they better be. The grapes are considered good luck and traditionally given as gifts to business partners which makes us wonder: it is appropriate to eat them if you receive them as a gift? We’d eat them. We can’t imagine they’d be any less lucky.
3. Densuke Watermelon
Maybe a melon that smells of socks isn’t for you. How about one with a black rind? The Densuke Watermelon is a rare find and costs a surprisingly economical $6,100 per melon. You’re probably saying “But The Fruit Company®, there must be something wrong with it; it’s too cheap!” Well, that’s the thing, the Densuke Watermelon is more than fine. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s also recommended for people with kidney ailments, teething babies, and those searching for luminous skin.
Props to the first person who saw the rambutan and thought, “I wonder if I can eat that?” That’s pure bravery, right there. The rambutan is a fuzzy Asian fruit that has a white, flesh fruit in the center. The rambutan takes 80 days to become ripe and edible, and is loaded with vitamin C, potassium and calcium. We can’t properly say what it tastes like because by all accounts it tastes similar to the “longan” or “lumyai” varieites of fruit. We’ve never tasted those fruits, and the only descriptions we found said that they tasted similar to the rambutan. So there’s that.
5. Mangosteen, Queen of Tropical Fruit
The mangosteen takes 8-10 years to bear fruit. If you find yourself in possesion of the fruit and can get past the look of it, consider yourself lucky. This deep purple, tomato sized fruit boasts a white segmented flesh inside that tastes like nothing you’ve ever had before (unless you’ve eaten a mangosteen). Mangosteens grow in humid, tropical environments that can’t be duplicated in the US. They’ve only recently begun to make their way to the US, due to the fear of the fruit providing sanctuary to foreign pests behind the fruit’s rind.
Are you the kind of person that smells sulfur and immediately gets hungry? Well, may I suggest the jackfruit? Providing the perfect marriage of sulfur and edible fruit, the jackfruit has a yellow skin whose flavor is comparable to that of a banana. The jackfruit tree must be cared for in a sunny, warm climate where it can develop the proper smell and taste. These pineapple sized fruit can cost as much as $5.00 a pound so make sure you get your fill when you get your fill. Standing in a sewer eating a banana can’t quite replicate the sensation of the jackfruit.
7. Noina or Custard Apple
This heart-shaped Thai fruit has green, bumpy skin and a creamy inside that tastes similar to vanilla ice cream. Noina has excellenct nutritional value and is rich in phosophurus, iron, calcium, and riboflavin. The trees only become ripe when given enough space to flourish. Subsequently, they’re expensive to produce in large numbers.
This Yucatan egg-shaped fruit can be compared in texture to a pear with the flavor of brown sugar. The sapodilla can easily withstand high heat and strong winds and thrives in dry weather. The fruit is known to be ripe when the skin is rough and scruffy and the stem separates from the brown skin without excreting sticky latex. Sapodilla is sold for around $7 per pound, and treelings are sold for $20 – $35 per gallon and two-gallon size, respectively.