A pair of exotic melons have sold for $12,500 in an auction in Hokkaido, Japan.
The box set of Yubari melons, like those pictured above, attracted a winning bid of one million yen – though that’s actually less than half of the all-time record – in 2008, a pair of Yubari melons sold for 2.5 million yen at auction. Yes folks, even people stupid enough to pay thousands of dollars for fruit are feeling the pinch in these austere times.
Nevertheless, $12,500 is quite the eye-watering figure, with the two orange-fleshed fruit going to an anonymous buyer at Hokkaido’s Sapporo Central Wholesale Market.
Fruit in Japan isn’t cheap in general – a single apple can cost more than $5, while a presentation pack of 20 cherries can fetch in excess of $100.
While Japanese shoppers are used to paying high prices for fruit, it’s said this winning bid was a combination of a desire for prestige and sympathy. Why sympathy? Because the town that produces Yubari melons went bust five years ago.
The finest Yubari melons are said to be perfect spheres that boast a smooth, evenly patterned rind. When the fruit is sold, it’s usually placed in a very ornate box, and the stalk is left on the fruit.