We all treat ourselves to some nice fruit every once in a while, but if you’re rich you’ve got enough money to throw around on them. If you think lychee and starfruit are exotic, you’re in for a ride! Here are 15 Expensive Fruits Only the Rich can Afford!
15. Buddha Shaped Pears
These Buddha Shaped Pears are exactly what they sound like. Pears shaped like a little Buddha. What an interesting visual! Xianzhang Hao, from China, grew 10,000 of these “Buddha pears” in his backyard, and he is now selling them for $8 each. He says that the reason these fruits are so popular is because they symbolize good luck. To make this fruit, he puts them in a mold when they’re little, and as soon as the mold is filled up, he takes it off and lets the fruit grow without any constraint. By the time they ripen, they’ve taken the shape of Buddha! The idea to start making these specialized pears came from an old Chinese myth saying that whoever ate this fruit would gain immortality. While they probably won’t grant you immortality, these are still certainly a treat!
14. Cubed Watermelon
Unsurprisingly, cubed watermelon is watermelon that is grown in the shape of a cube. Invented in 1978 by graphic designer Tomoyuki Ono, they were first presented in a gallery in Ginza, Tokyo. Grown in wooden crates made to mold them into their iconic cube shape, these watermelons tend to attract the attention of wealthy and fashionable consumers. Since these watermelons are rare, the price tag attached to them is pretty outrageous. One square watermelon can cost up to $100! They were originally intended to fit more compactly in fridges and to cut more easily without rolling off the counter, but nowadays, they’re much more decorative than practical. This is because to retain the proper shape, cube melons must be harvested before they are ripe, rendering them inedible. Nonetheless, it’s totally understandable why people would be fascinated by these square-shaped melons: they’re fun to look at and are pretty unique when you think about it. They’re like art pieces for your fridge or a great conversation starter, at the very least.
This funky fruit isn’t necessarily as pretty as some of the other fruits we’ll see, but that’s okay because, to some people, it’s still the most delicious of all. Cherimoya is a fruit that grows in tropical climates and is extremely popular in certain parts of the world, like Spain. The one thing that makes the Cherimoya different from other fruits is its texture. As odd as it sounds, the Cherimoya has been described by people as a ‘custard apple’ because it tastes creamy yet crunchy. Its taste is described as a mixture of different fruits, such as bananas, mango, and coconut. Very tropical flavors, one may say. Cherimoyas have to be perfectly ripe in order to get the full experience of enjoying one. It can be difficult to find this fruit in a store, but if you do, you are looking at a price of around $7 a pound! This may not be as expensive as some other fruits, but for a more commonly found fruit, Cherimoyas do not come cheap, so be ready to pay up!
12. Sekai Ichi Apples
Initially bred in Morioka, Japan, these delicious apples were first introduced to the market in 1974. Nowadays, they’re still grown in Japan but are slowly but surely starting to be exported outside of the country. The Sekai Ichi apple is a cross between the famous Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples and is one of the largest apples in the world, normally weighing-almost two pounds each! Typically costing around $20 in-store, these apples are definitely worth the price. Because of how big they are, these apples have to be treated with extra care. They’re hand-pollinated by dedicated workers, then bathed in honey, and hand stamped. The name Sekai Ichi means “the best in the world,” or “world’s number one” in Japanese, and, unsurprisingly, these apples are considered to be one of the best in the world!
11. Taiyo no Tamago Mangoes
These mangoes are named Taiyo no Tamago, which translates to ‘egg of the sun’. These bad boys fetch a surprisingly high price in Japan’s luxury fruit market. On a normal day, these mangoes sell for upwards of $50. Much like all the other fruit on this list, the reason the price is so high is because of how these fruits are cared for when they’re being grown: Japanese farmers surround each mango with a small net, which allows sunlight to hit the skin at all angles (giving it a uniform, ruby-red color), and cushions the fruit when it falls from the tree. Allowing the mangoes to simply fall when they’re ready, as opposed to manually picking them, ensures optimal ripeness. The resulting mangoes have very little fibrousness, are extremely juicy, and practically melt in your mouth. The taste itself is perfectly sweet and tart, like mango candy with hints of pineapple and coconut. In 2017, two of these mangoes were sold for a whopping $3,744!
10. Sembikiya Queen Strawberries
Sembikiya Queen Strawberries are one of the most valuable fruits in the world and are probably the most beautiful strawberries you will ever lay your eyes on. You know those perfect cartoon strawberries? Well, that’s how pretty they are. These are venerated for their sweet flavor, their beautiful red hue, and the adorable, perfectly shaped leaf at the top. These fruits can only be enjoyed in Japan, and are unfortunately only sold for a limited amount of time. The farmers in Kagawa grow Queen Strawberries for Sembikiya, and they spare no effort in paying delicate attention to the care of them to make their customers happy. They come in a packaging molded to each individual strawberry, placed in only one layer, meaning there is no potential for crushed or imperfect strawberries. For that price, we should hope so. Available in boxes of 12, each pack of strawberries sells for approximately $85. On top of the fruit looking beautiful, they’re packaging wonderfully packaged, cultivating the perfect strawberry eating experience.
9. Densuke Watermelon
Would you ever pay $6100 for a watermelon? The answer is probably no. But, in 2008, that’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t for any old watermelon though, it was for the highly-desired Densuke watermelon. Grown exclusively in Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, only 100 of these heavenly melons are farmed each year. These darkly colored, stripeless watermelons are reported to have a uniquely sweet taste, as well as a satisfyingly crunchy texture, and if you’re looking to grow some in your own garden, you’re in luck! While the Densuke Watermelon is not yet widely grown outside of Japan, the seeds have begun to be commercially available in Europe and America. That being said, growing them is no easy feat. Growing these prized melons requires a considerable amount of space, so, they aren’t readily nestable in many gardens. They also require several months of care and maintenance, which is why only a select number are available each year. When you buy the Densuke watermelon, it comes in an elegant cubic cardboard box, with protection to keep it from denting, and a certificate of origin so you can cherish your watermelon long after it’s gone.
8. Yubari King Melons
Yes, another melon from Japan, I know, but hey, they are delicious – and quite expensive – after all. The Yubari King melon and is a mix of two other cantaloupes: the ‘Earl’s Favourite’ and the ‘Burpee’s “Spicy” cantaloupe. The skin is absolutely flawless, and both the seller and farmer wear white gloves when handling this precious produce. The farmers ensure that the best seeds are chosen, and then remove all but one of the flower buds on the vine to ensure that the melon won’t have to compete with other fruits for nutrients. They’re generally grown in greenhouses in soil rich with volcanic ash and can take up to 100 days to grow. So how much is it for Yubari King melons, you might ask? Well, in 2017, a pair of these melons sold for over $26,000! This sale broke the previous record of more than $23,000. While these melons are available for much cheaper – still for a couple of hundred bucks – these purchases are often publicity stunts that are carried out by corporations, who use it as free advertising. The reason these spectacular specimens are so expensive is because of the way they’re cared for and their sought-after taste.
The ability to peel a mandarin within a second and get rid of all of the white, bitter layers of the rind is quite a luxury, and that’s exactly what peeling a Dekopon feels like – a luxury. Developed in Japan in 1972, Dekopon is a hybrid between Kiyomi and ponkan, two different types of Japanese citrus. This fruit is technically a mandarin, though it’s much larger and has a thicker, bumpier skin. This fruit is popular because of its unique taste: the flavor is similar to intense orange, but sweeter since all dekopons must have citric acid levels below 1.0 percent. It’s so sweet that it’s been compared to eating candy. And what is the price of this candy-like fruit? Well, a tray of half a dozen of these oranges in Japan costs $80 US. Yep, take out the big bucks. That means each orange is being sold for over $13! Originally, you could only find this fruit in Japan, but as of 10 years ago, they are now available for purchase in the US, but under a different name – Sumo. So, keep your eyes open for these big, majestic oranges.
6. Pineapples from the Lost Gardens of Heligan
In a land far, far, away… well not so far – England to be exact – there is a beautiful botanical garden called the Lost Gardens of Heligan, considered to be one of the most mysterious estates in the UK. It’s in this garden that a pretty special pineapple grows, a pineapple that is just special enough to cost £1000 (British pounds). Yes, £1000, that’s about the same it would cost for a trans-Atlantic flight to England– for just one pineapple! The way that these pineapples are grown is quite… strange. The estate grows them for two years under layers of straw, manure, and horse urine. Don’t worry, though, if you don’t like the idea of horse urine touching your fruit, it doesn’t, they never make contact with the waste fertilizers, oh and, they’re not even on the market – yet. The only people who get to enjoy these little pineapples are the team who grows them! It can take years to grow these pineapples, so we can understand why since they do all the hard work, they deserve a taste of them before anyone else does. I wonder if they have to pay to eat it?
5. Northern Territory Mangoes
Australia is the home to some delicious fruits, and it just so happens that mangoes are a delicacy there. Many say that the taste of true Aussie mangoes reminds them of summers, the feeling of sunshine and the spray from the garden hose on their skin, kids laughing, the smell of barbecue, long light evenings serenaded by kookaburras and cicadas. Basically, they’re in love with the stuff. In 2013, the first mangoes of the season were sold for around $30,000 in Sydney, Australia. The tray of fresh Northern Territory mangoes was bought by Heath McInerney, on behalf of over 100 independent greengrocers and 55 wholesalers at the Sydney Markets. As he handed over the cheque, Mr. McInerney said it was an honor. And damn right it was, mangoes are delicious!
4. White Jewel
Shiroi Houseki, also known as the White Jewel, are white strawberries. Yes, white. They have white flesh, red seeds, and pink patches. Sounds like something right out of a Japanese comic. They’re bred to be bigger, softer, and sweeter than your regular strawberry. Mainly found in Japan, these fruits are a fixture within the luxury fruit market. While there are multiple varieties of this fruit all over Asia, Shiroi Houseki is considered the rarest and most expensive of them all, at $10 a berry. The white color of this berry’s flesh is accomplished by cutting down its exposure to sunlight, which reduces the pigment in the berries that give them their distinctive color. If you’re ever in Japan, this is definitely something to keep an eye out for!
3. The King Of Cherries
Sato Nishiki, AKA the King of the Cherries, is another great fruit produced in Japan, in Yamagata. These cherries account for about 70 percent of national production, and are extremely popular abroad! They offer a triple threat of taste, aesthetic appeal, and long shelf life. The reason they’re described as the royalty of all cherries is simply that they’re chock full of both sweet and sour flavors, leaving the consumer wanting more. These cherries go for around $400 for a bunch, so if you were hoping to get a bunch to bake a pie, you might want to think again!
2. Miyazaki Mango
Also known as the Japanese red mango, Miyazaki mangos are said to be a lot sweeter than your average grocery store mango. In fact, they actually have one of the highest sugar contents across the board! They are grown in a tropical climate setting, a.ka., the ideal condition for growing mangos. Usually, these mangos cost about $50 each, which is over 10 times more than your average mango. Farmers use nets to catch the mangoes and avoid any bruises or imperfections. So, if you’ve got a modest 50$ spare, why not try a “perfect” mango?
1. Ruby Roman Grapes
As we’ve seen so far, Japan is king when it comes to delicious and expensive delicacies. One of those delicacies is the famous Ruby Roman Grapes, which were developed, grown, and marketed entirely in Ishikawa. Red in color and about the size of a ping-pong ball, this specialty fruit came to the market in 2008 and they’ve been extremely popular since. The first Ruby Roman grapes sold for 100,000 Japanese yen (around $910), for a 700-gram bunch. That’s $26 per grape! Every grape is checked strictly to guarantee its quality, with certification seals placed on those selected. To get those little grape medals, it’s no easy task: each grape must be over 20g and over 18% sugar. In addition, a special “premium class” exists which requires the grape to be over 30g. In 2010, only six grapes qualified for premium status while in 2011, no grapes made the cut. No wonder these are so in demand, it’s only the elite that’s selected in this grape beauty pageant.