Fruits for millionaires | Sunday Observer

Fruits for millionaires

3 September, 2023

Consuming fruits are generally considered to be healthy. Not only in the past but even in the present, a fruit tree is not amiss in any garden. Adding fruits to the diet is not that challenging for the villagers, but the urban people who have to purchase them feel their increasing price.

In the context of Sri Lanka, even if we purchase fruits of the best quality, we do not find fruits so expensive that we have to mortgage our house to buy them. When considering some of the fruits in the world, one will be surprised as their prices are so high that only millionaires can afford to purchase them. The prices of certain types of fruits are at a very high level because of their unique taste, quality, rarity, shape and colour or other social values.

Densuke Watermelon

Densuke, which looks like an ordinary watermelon, can be purchased mainly in Tokyo and all over Japan. Its special feature is that it does not have stripes on the skin like other watermelons, and has a special sweet taste. This type of watermelon with a dark green skin grows in the areas of Hokkaido Island, which is the Northernmost part of Japan. Another reason for the high price of these watermelons is that only about 10,000 of them are produced in a whole year. The average price of a Densuke watermelon is said to be around US $ 200-6,000 US.

Sekai Ichi

Sekai Ichi, also known as the ‘World’s Number One’ apple, is a very popular apple in Japan. Each apple is sold for US$ 21. The reason for the high price here is that these are harvested by hand and washed with honey to minimise damage while releasing them to the market. Pollination is done through a small stick to produce the fruits of these apples. Many Japanese people purchase it despite the high price due to its purity and taste.

Yubari King Melon

The Yubari King Melon is the one of the best known of all Japanese luxury fruits. In Tokyo’s specialist fruit shops, these watermelons are sold at a price around US$ 200. They’re prized for gift-giving and as status symbols. In 2010, a pair of Yubari King Melons were bought by a beverage company for US$ 45,000 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their melon-flavoured mineral water. As the name suggests, they’re grown exclusively in the small city of Yubari, in Hokkaido province. Originally developed in the 1950s, these melons are Earl’s Favourite and Burpee Spicy varieties.

The England Pineapple

Pineapples are usually grown in tropical climates and are not grown in countries with colder climates such as the United Kingdom. However, after two years of efforts, a group of workers recently succeeded in growing a pineapple in a garden called ‘Lost Garden’ in Heligan, England. For this, Victorian techniques were used and leaves, hay and horse urine were used as fertilisers.

Given a lot of hard work and time spent, the price of this pineapple fruit was at US$ 1,600. This pineapple, which was never released to the market, was given to the garden workers as a token of gratitude.

Ruby Roman Grapes

A bunch of these rare luxury grapes, which are grown in Japan, cost US$90 to 450. Only 24,000 bunches are harvested each year. Developed in 2008, this juicy, sweet, and low-acid variety is only grown and sold in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture. These grapes go through a rigorous inspection before sale, checked for flavour, uniformity of the distinctive ruby colour, and size. And Ruby Roman Grapes are larger in size. They’re classified into three categories: superior, special superior, and premium. In 2020, a single bunch of premium Ruby Roman Grapes sold for US$12,000.


Dekopon is a citrus fruit that is produced as a hybrid of orange and mandarin. This is considered to be the most delicious citrus fruit in the world. It is orange in colour and forms a small bump-like protrusion on the top. It is larger and sweeter than an usual orange. It is seedless and was first produced in Japan and later successfully produced in California.

These oranges are now grown in several other countries. Although each Dekopon citrus comes with a price tag of at least US$ 14, or 80 per pack of six, their popularity is spreading throughout the world. They’re now being harvested in Brazil and South Korea to give even more people the opportunity to enjoy the unique flavour.

White Jewel Strawberry

These strawberries are cultivated by a single producer in the Saga Prefecture of Japan and sold for around US$10 US each.

However, they’re about three times the size of a typical large strawberry. Their white colour is due to the absence of the pigment anthocyanin, which gives strawberries their typical red or deep pink colour.

To achieve this, a unique hybrid variety is grown in the dark. So while some specimens may start to develop their natural pinkish colour when exposed to sunlight, the best White Jewels will retain their white colour. These strawberries are sweet, with a pineapple-like fragrance.