Raisin’ cash: Japan grapes fetch $10,900 at auction552 views
A bunch of grapes in Japan sold for $10,900 on Thursday, a record price for the variety in the fruit-obsessed nation where the produce can be a huge status symbol.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers over the high-flying edibles.
The buyer of Thursday’s bunch of about 30 Ruby Romans — who paid about $360 per grape — showed no wrath, promising to dole out samples to a few fortunate patrons.
“These are truly Ruby Roman gems,” bidder Takamaru Konishi from western Japan told media.
“We will display them at our store before giving our customers a sample taste,” he said.
Even to the untrained eye, the super-sweet grapes — about as large as a ping pong ball — stand above their more affordable cousins readily available in supermarkets elsewhere in the world.
The 1.1 million-yen sale kicks off the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Other fruits, from apples to watermelons, can also fetch jaw-dropping sums under the hammer.
Fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.