We’ve all been told how expensive it can be to eat a healthy diet. Between McDonald’s dollar menus and 20p instant noodles, shelling out for a bunch of bananas can feel like a waste of valuable time and resources. But, even for the most frugal of anti-fruit shoppers, supermarket prices are an absolute bargain compared to some of the ludicrous sums some people are prepared to spend on fresh fruit and veg. Gathered from around the world, these are some of the most ludicrously expensive produce on the planet.
1. Sekai-Ichi Apple
There aren’t many nations more fruit-mad than Japan. Perfected over centuries, the Japanese have adopted a number of bizarre techniques for fruit production, creating hundreds of weird and unbelievably expensive species in the process. One example is the $21-per-fruit sekai-ichi apple. Washed in honey and pollinated by a special apple wand, the name of this fruit literally translates to “best in the world”. At those prices, you’d expect nothing less.
A cross between a mandarin and an orange, the dekopon is the priciest and apparently tastiest member of the citrus family. Costing around $80 for six and only available in Japan until 2011, the dekopon has been described as possessing a flesh that “feels firm at first bite, but then melts in the mouth”.
3. Densuke Watermelon
With a jet black and opaque exterior, densuke watermelons look more like a cannonball than a fruit. Unlike artillery shells, however, this unique fruit is well worth crossing paths with. Farmed exclusively on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, only 100 are produced each year - helping contribute to the exorbitant $130 price tag.
4. Yubari King Melon
It seems that Hokkaido has something of a talent for producing impressive melons. The orange-fleshed Yubari King has earned the accolade of most expensive melon on the planet, with one pair selling at auction for a ridiculous $23,500. Though a price of $225 is more common, there seems to be no limit on the lengths some people will go to for bigger and better melons.
5. Hop Shoots
Thanks to short growing seasons and irritatingly specific conditions, there are some very pricey veggies out there. Perhaps surprisingly, the most luxurious of the lot is the non-descript looking hop shoot. These stunted green shrubs only appear in northern Europe between March and April every year, which helps explain why they cost more than $1,000 per kilo.
6. Heligan Pineapples
Miserable weather and conservative taste buds are just two of the reasons that England would be one of the last places you would expect an exotic fruit to thrive. Despite all the adversity, the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall have found a way to produce some of the most sought after pineapples on earth. By using a variety of Victorian growing techniques, including urine, straw and horse manure, the Cornish have created odd looking fruits that can fetch upwards of $2,000 at auction.
7. Ruby Roman Grapes
Unfortunately for anyone looking to perform their favourite mouth-catching grape-based party trick, these fruits could end up costing you more than money. With an average price of $6400 per bunch, each of these ridiculous grapes is about the size of a ping pong ball, making them a serious choking hazard for anyone silly enough to start throwing them.
Though fruit isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when we think of luxury food and drink, it’s clear that there are a few species that can give any food on earth a run for its money. They might not be as glamorous as caviar, champagne and lobster, but apples and melons can still command a serious price tag.