Melon Yubari, which grows exclusively in a greenhouse environment, is the most expensive delicacy for the people of Japan. Despite its small geographical distribution, it is known far beyond the borders of the Japanese islands for its unsurpassed taste. But it is noteworthy that among other relatives it is distinguished not only by its exotic and unusual taste, but also by the high price from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars apiece.
The Japanese, in addition to all their merits, are well known as breeders, breeding very unusual varieties of plant and fruit crops. Naturally, not all of their attempts have been crowned with success. Many cultivated crops have never received public approval, and some of them are not at all suitable for consumption. The same cannot be said about Yubari. These berries are widely recognized by many gourmets around the world. And every year they are gaining more and more popularity, appearing in the menu of the most expensive restaurants in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America.
These melons received their name King Yubari (Yubari King) from the provincial Japanese city of the same name, which is located on the island of Hokkaido. Here they were grown for the first time and continue to be grown to this day. These fruit crops grow exclusively in greenhouses, in which special artificial conditions are created that allow this variety of melons to fully form and ripen to the appropriate condition.
The greenhouse climate and conditions of detention are monitored very strictly. Throughout the entire period of Yubari cultivation, the temperature and humidity level of the air changes several times depending on the period, from the moment the flower ovaries form until the fruit ripens. It is thanks to the alternation of climatic changes in the greenhouse that a diverse flavor palette of this variety is achieved.
Japanese breeders claim that the main flavor of these melons comes from the volcanic ash in the soil. The Yubari variety is cantaloupe, that is, a synthesis of two varieties, referred to as spicy cantaloupe. Those who have tasted it say about it “juicy”, “spicy”, “sweet” - these are the flavors that remain after using this berry. According to those who have tried it, the taste sensations when biting off the Yubari slices alternate brightly, at the same time smoothly replacing each other: first, cantaloupe is felt on the front of the tongue, watermelon is in the middle, and before the moment of swallowing, notes of pineapple are felt.
All this is very intriguing and mesmerizing, especially if you ask about the price for such a Japanese melon.
For many gardeners and ordinary people it is not entirely clear why Yubari melons are so expensive. Indeed, it is difficult to understand for a person who is far from Japanese traditions and worldview. In general, it is worth noting that, due to their lifestyle, the Japanese have a special passion for rare fruits, one of which is the royal melon.
In Japan, it is believed that this is an extraordinary variety of melon: it has a unique taste, aroma, graceful appearance and beautiful skin. It is noteworthy that in addition to the difficulties in the cultivation process, taste characteristics and low prevalence on the planet, these melons are also valued among Japanese citizens for their almost perfect rounded shapes and the presence of an extremely smooth thin rind. Accordingly, the rounder the shape of the fruit and the smoother the skin, the more attention it deserves. This is due to the fact that Yubari's skin is similar in its patterns to ancient porcelain vases, which are highly prized in the east. Therefore, among Japanese gourmets, such expensive gifts are very much appreciated, especially if they are presented in pairs.
As already mentioned, these melons are very expensive, the average price for them at harvest time ranges from $ 50 to $ 200, it all depends on size, ripeness, season and other indicators. It is quite difficult to buy them at retail, because when the crop matures, wholesalers buy them in large quantities, and then put them up for auctions, where the price for them increases significantly.
In addition, it is customary to auction the finest first-class Yubari melons, which are the first harvest of the season. The price for such fruits can reach several thousand dollars. So, every year at the beginning of spring, auctions are held for the sale of Yubari melons.
The record holder who bought the most expensive Yubari melons was a Japanese resident who owns a supermarket in Niigata Prefecture. They cost him about $ 28, 000 per pair.