The Yūbari King is a hybrid cantaloupe cultivar, combining Earl’s Favorite with Burpee’s “Spicy” Cantaloupe. It takes 3–4 months to fully grow and they’re then pampered with wipe downs by the melon growers and paper sun hats to stop the skin from scalding and spoiling the fruit. But why are they so expensive?
Arguably the reason for the Yūbari’s exorbitant cost is its careful selection process. Melon inspectors (melon farmers themselves) tap and flick the fruit to listen for a low, deep sound, smell it for a sweet fragrance, and inspect the rind before rewarding the best melons with the Yūbari label. The perfect Yūbari King should have beautifully netted skin, like the lacing on an embroidered doily.via Atlas Obscura
And just how expensive can these cantaloupes get? The highest recorded price for two Yubari King melons is ¥5 million ($45,500 in 2019), with the winning bid coming from Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd. Auctions take place in Hokkaido every season and I wouldn’t be surprised if that price got beaten in the future.
Now I’m wondering what a Yūbari King melon tastes like (even though I don’t like melons). Move over, enefftees and pickles—melons are the new digital currency!