Fruit-topia: Grapes fetch $10,900 at Japan auction

by WorldTribune Staff, July 7, 2016

The Land of the Rising Sun is also a place where fruit is seen as a symbol of prestige.

A farmer displaying a cluster of recently-developed "Ruby Roman" grapes in his vineyard in Kahoku city in Japan. /AFP
A farmer displaying a cluster of recently-developed Ruby Roman grapes in his vineyard in Kahoku city in Japan. /AFP

Case in point, a bunch of about 30 Ruby Roman grapes sold at an auction in Japan on July 7 for a whopping $10,900 — or about $360 per grape.

It was a record price for the variety in the fruit-obsessed nation where produce can be a huge status symbol.

Fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.

Other fruits can also fetch enormous sums at auction.

The super-sweet Ruby Roman grapes, each the size of a ping pong ball, attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige. The buyer on July 7 promised to give out samples to fortunate patrons of his establishment.

“These are truly Ruby Roman gems,” high bidder Takamaru Konishi, from western Japan, told media. “We will display them at our store before giving our customers a sample taste.”

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