I am asked the usual question why or how can a melon be so expensive. The first answer is because on an average tree there’s no more than one single fruit. That means that the productivity of the plant is cut to a barest minimum, and supply is equal to demand. But that’s not all.
The process begins with the perfect seeds. The local farmers’ association breeds a new strain every year, seeking continuous improvements. Weak seedlings are weeded out. Then when the flowers appear, poor specimens are plucked.
Japanese have a high sense of aesthetic and appreciation for quality and they are willing to pay for a one of a kind unique fruits. It is also true that these aren’t everyday fruits you enjoy at home. These musk melons are almost always given as gift.
Japan has two gift-giving seasons a year, one in summer and one in winter. Family members exchange presents but the tradition goes well beyond that. People offer presents to express gratitude, such as to their bosses. Companies often send gifts to customers and business partners.
Growing these melons is one of the most labor intensive methods all over the world, and takes the right temperature to develop the perfect melon. If it gets too hot, or cold in the greenhouses for even the briefest period the entire crop could be destroyed.
The pruning is precise and the melons grow in even rows exactly the same height. Their stalks are helped to bear their weight by strings holding up the melons. During maturity the fruits are given plastic hats to prevent sunburn, a risk under the greenhouse glass in the chilly month of February.
Their surface is a fantastic web of lightly ribbed net with a sweet and flavorful flesh and a light-green skin. The succulent taste is something you have never tasted and believe me it’s incredibly juicy. The one fruit per plant and the concentration of flavors starts to make sense.
These fruits are quality and without the farmers expertise, commitment and dedication to achieve perfect form, you would eat imported fruits from south America.
Ask yourself, have you ever seen a melon without a single blemish, dirt or imperfection? You can easily wonder why this fruit are in a class of their own. It isn’t only about the taste, it’s about the entire class of melons, and this number one world-wide.
Remember you get what you pay!…