Have you ever wondered what is the most expensive melon in the world? Yubari King melon that costs $200 each is the most expensive in the world. In 2019, a set of Yubari King melons was sold for $45,000. Yubari King is so expensive due to its unique syrupy-sweet taste, delicate, juicy texture, and unusual skin pattern reminding of ancient porcelain vases.
Yubari King melon, which grows exclusively in a greenhouse environment, is the most expensive delicacy for the Japanese. Despite its small geographical distribution, Yubari King melon is known far beyond the borders of the Japanese islands for its unique taste and extremely high price. But why is Yubari King melon so expensive? What does it taste like? How is it grown? Read in our article!
All You Need To Know About Yubari King Melon – Taste, Price, Growing Conditions
What is Yubari King melon? Yubari King melon is a hybrid of two varieties of nutmeg melons – Earl’s Favorite and Burpee, which are grown in the city of Yubari on the island of Hokkaido. These melons can cost up to $24,600 each – in 2019, a set of Yubari King melons was sold for a whopping price of $45,000! During harvesting, Yubari melons are sold much cheaper – around $200 each, but it is almost impossible to get them at retail – resellers buy everything in bulk in a matter of minutes.
Yubari King Melon Taste
What does Yubari King melon taste like? Yubari King melon has a delicate, syrupy-sweet, honey-like taste with a soft, juicy texture and a mix of various fruit notes like strawberry, peach, watermelon, and vanilla. Ripe Yubari King melons are never watery or tasteless – they have a pleasant sweetness and juiciness.
Japanese farmers claim that the main flavor of these melons comes from the volcanic ash in the soil. The Yubari variety is cantaloupe, that is, a synthesis of two varieties referred to as spicy cantaloupe. Those who have tasted Yubari King melons describe them as “juicy”, “spicy”, “sweet”. Yubari tastes spicier than cantaloupe from Italy or Spain. The taste of the Japanese delicacy is rich and varied – when biting off a piece, you first taste the flavor of cantaloupe melon, then watermelon, and before swallowing, you get pineapple flavor notes.
In Japan, it is believed that Yubari has a unique taste, aroma, noble appearance, and beautiful porcelain-like skin. In addition to the laborious cultivation process, limited supply, Yubari is also valued for its perfectly round shape and thin, smooth peel. Yubari’s skin is similar in its patterns to ancient porcelain vases, which are highly prized in the east, so Yubari is always a good present in Japan.
Yubari King Melon Price
How much is a Yubari King melon? Yubari King melon (Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan,) is the most expensive melon in the world and comes for $200 each. In 2019, a set of Yubari King melons was sold for a whopping price of $45,000 (5 million yen) or $22,500 each.
When buying, the Japanese prefer the uniformity of the patterns on the melon skin. The most expensive Yubari melons are sold in pairs, and the perfectly symmetrical ones make the most money. In 2019, Tokyo-based Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage Ltd bought a pair of melons at auction at the highest price of 5 million yen (or $46,000).
Why is Yubari King melon so expensive? Yubari King melon is so expensive due to the laborious, time-consuming, and costly growing process in a greenhouse environment, expensive manual labor, unique honey-like syrupy flavor, a lot of health benefits, scarce supply, and a huge demand due to its popularity.
Interestingly enough, farmers honor traditions and follow old growing traditions for Yubari – they regularly “massage” the peel of the melon to create an even, neat, and delicate porcelain-like pattern. Farmers wear white gloves and practice a special massage technique that makes the melon even sweeter.
Farmers also put small black conical paper hats on melons to protect their fragile, delicate peel from direct sunlight. The cultivation process is extremely difficult, so manual labor makes already expensive Yubari King melons even more expensive. Yubari melon is a registered trademark and the backbone of the region’s economy.
Yubari King Melon Growing Conditions
How are Yubari King melons grown? Yubari King melons are grown in the greenhouse climate using old techniques from Japanese farmers. The greenhouse conditions, temperature, and humidity levels are strictly monitored and adjusted. Long-lasting growing traditions give Yubari King melons a diverse taste and a juicy texture.
Here are some of the technologies the Japanese use to grow Yubari king melons:
- Special greenhouses
- Automatically adjusting air and soil humidity, which changes depending on the stage of vegetation of melons
- Special watering schedule, depending on the weather and melon size
- Fertilizing and massaging the skin of Yubari King melons to make the taste even better
The soil for growing Yubari melon should be high in nutrients, loose, and have a neutral pH. The Japanese are sure that the main condition that gives the Yubari melon an unforgettable taste is special soil which has a high content of volcanic ash.
Yubari King Melon Health Benefits
Just 1 serving of Yubari King melon provides 100% of the daily requirement for vitamin A, 95% for vitamin C, 1% for calcium, 2% for iron, and 5% for vitamin K. Yubari King melon contains vitamin B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and C that strengthens the immune system.
Yubari King melon is rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It is especially rich in vitamin C, which prevents diseases and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C also supports the production of collagen, the main structural protein required for skin repair. 100 grams of Yubari melon contains about 36 mg of ascorbic acid, which is about a third of the daily value. These melons are high in vitamin A, a micronutrient essential for healthy vision and skin cell renewal.
Yubari King melons contain antioxidants, including gallic acid, ellagic acid, and caffeic acid, which fight cell damage. Yubari is naturally low in fat and cholesterol, making it a quick and healthy source of energy for the body. The fruits are also rich in:
- Folic acid (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B6
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. It reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer and improves memory. Yubari melon has a high water content – almost 90 percent, which will help keep you hydrated and improves digestion, and kidney work, and maintains healthy blood pressure. Yubari King melon can also be used as a healthy substitute for chocolate, cookies, and ice cream. Nutritionists recommend that adults consume no more than 300-500 grams of melon per day.