Water ‘Melons’ Auctioned for $45,600 in Japan
The two cantaloupe variety melons, also known as spanspek, are popular for its soft juicy orange colored flesh as well as its high sugar content. The melons were part of around 1,000 pieces of Yubari-brand melons that were auctioned at the wholesale market in Sapporo.
In the first auction of the year’s agricultural season in the country, the Japanese city of Yubari has fetched a record price of 5 million yen, or $45,600 from two water 'melons'. The price bid at a Sapporo wholesale market in Yubari, this time beat the all-time high of 3.2 million yen paid in the first auction of Yubari melons last year.
The two cantaloupe variety melons, also known as spanspek, are popular for its soft juicy orange colored flesh as well as its high sugar content. The melons were part of around 1,000 pieces of Yubari-brand melons that were auctioned at the wholesale market in Sapporo. The cantaloupes variety melons usually range in weight from 0.5 to 5 kilograms (1.1 to 11 pounds).
The cantaloupe melons are considered special and of high quality, because the melons are grown and ripened during a long period of sunny weather and has a perfect round shape.
In Japan, auctions of agricultural products traditionally start around this time of the year, which also marks the beginning of a new farming season. The harvesting of the cantaloupe melons also began this week in Yubari, a city popularly known in Japan for its production of the fruit, which is expected to reach its peak in early July.
The first few melons to hit the market are sold for unreasonably high prices, which go under the hammer with much fanfare and the purchases are valued more as a trophy.
The premium cantaloupe is known for its soft sweet juicy orange colored flesh, are usually sold for 4,000 yen to 10,000 yen each. They are often presented as a gift in Japan.
This year the successful bidder, Nagoya-based Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd., said it has decided to make a bid in the auction for the first time as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations to commemorate the launch of its melon-flavored soda water.
Yoshihiro Iwata, President of Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd said, “As our company was founded in Sapporo, I had been thinking there must be something I can do for Hokkaido”.
The company said after winning the bid, it now plans to first display the melons at Sapporo Dome and New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido before the scent and color analysis of the fruits for the development of new products. The melons will be on public display for a week till May 29.