Consider those pivotal, big-deal moments in your life: when you graduated from college, landed that big job, got engaged, bought a house. At dinner to celebrate those amazing changes, you likely splurged a bit and went for a wine bottle with a heftier price tag than you usually choose.
But, even if you went a bit over budget, we’re going to take a gamble that you didn’t spend $10,000 on a bottle of a wine. Right? We’re still picking our jaw off the ground over here because someone in Japan didn’t spend a cool couple of grand on wine… but for approximately $10K he bought just the grapes, according to the Guardian.
Yep. The downpayment on a car for about 30 grapes.
Apparently, a supermarket in Japan received a bid of 1.1 million yen (which is about $10,800) for a specific type of grape, the Ruby Roman. A modest-size bunch sold for around $350 per grape, and apparently it was the very first batch of Ruby Romans this season. The grapes are grown in Ishikawa Prefecture (on the Japanese island of Honshu, which sits on the coast of the Sea of Japan), and they weigh at least 20 grams with a sugar content of at least 18 percent.
While it might seem a little outlandish to spend so much money on grapes, this is not an unfamiliar phenomenon in Japan, where fancy fruit parlors sit inside certain posh department stores. In a nutshell (or a coconut shell, if you’d like to buy one), the fruits get displayed delicately, and often under glass, much the way you'd see designer watches, purses and jewelry elsewhere.
Stores hold auctions and seek out starting bids to get the produce out the door. The Densuke watermelon, for example, which produces only about 100 specimens a year on Hokkaido, can get auctioned off for as much as $6K a pop. Yubari cantaloupes, rumored to be the most expensive fruits on Earth, once fetched $23,500.
Stores can charge this much apparently because the fruits are grown in perfect, rare conditions, a practice that most of the rest of the world hasn't yet mastered or lacks the climate to pull off.
So if you’re headed to Japan, you might want to save up your pennies to bring home an orange… or maybe just a single grape.
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