Vegetables & Fruits

This $ 20 apple is common in Japan – that is why it is so costly

The step

It is autumn, which suggests it is apple season. And People actually love their apples, devouring greater than 17 kilos of them per individual per 12 months, in keeping with the most recent statistics. The fruit can also be common in Japan, with some particular native varieties that deserve particular consideration. Maybe essentially the most well-known of those is the Sekai Ichi, an apple that may price round $ 20 – sure, per apple.

why is it so costly? It is all about its visible enchantment and restricted availability. The red-colored apple is notable for its massive measurement – it could actually weigh over two kilos – and is fastidiously grown to provide it the precise shade and look, in keeping with Yoshimichi Hatsuyama, an apple specialist on the Industrial Analysis Middle. of Aomori prefecture in Japan. However the measurement signifies that a tree can solely maintain so many apples, which “makes them tough to mass produce,” says Hatsuyama, talking by way of a translator. As for the style of the apple itself, Hatsuyama says that Sekai Ichi is “candy and juicy”.

The Sekai Ichi apple is only one instance of Japan’s obsession with costly, uncommon, and picture-perfect fruits, which are sometimes purchased as present objects. A few of these fruits are even bought at public sale, comparable to an excellent premium melon that bought for a whopping $ 27,240. Others might be present in high-end shops, comparable to Tokyo’s Sembikiya Emporium, which homes the $ 69 twelve-pack of strawberries and the $ 159.5 field of cherries. Hmm … perhaps that $ 20 apple is a relative deal.


Lately, People should not solely devouring apples, they’re additionally turning into picky with them. After a long time of settling for just a few normal varieties – Crimson Scrumptious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, and so forth. – apple lovers are paying consideration to people who promise higher taste and texture.

Maybe essentially the most outstanding of those apples is Honeycrisp, a spread developed by the College of Minnesota which, as its identify suggests, is thought for its freshness and balanced sweet-sour steadiness. And it requires a premium worth – usually, $ 3 per pound versus $ 2 per pound for traditional varieties, in keeping with David Bedford, senior researcher on the College of Minnesota’s horticulture division.

However that also places it manner beneath the roughly $ 10-per-pound worth you possibly can pay for a Sekai Ichi apple in Japan. In different phrases, a new york would not need to price that a lot.

Maybe much more vital is the truth that apple aficionados and professionals who’ve tried Sekai Ichi declare that it’s not all that particular, a minimum of so far as style is anxious. “It was by no means registered as a $ 20 apple,” says Al Rose, proprietor of Crimson Apple Farm in Phillipston, Mass., A farm that grows greater than 50 types of apples.

Rose speaks from expertise. She is the uncommon American Sekai Ichi grower – nicely, she has a tree on her property. She fees the identical for the Sekai Ichi as she does for all her apples of your selection: $ 32 per half bushel, which is about 20-22 kilos of apples. Which means a two-pound Sekai Ichi runs about $ 3 on her farm.

Like many others, Rose is a fan of the Honeycrisp apple. However her favourite number of hers is the Macoun, which is usually not thought-about an costly apple, which means it may be discovered at as little as $ 2 per pound. “It has slightly sweetness and freshness,” says Rose of the Macoun. “The flavour is second to none.”