Black Japanese watermelon sold at record price
TOKYO - A jumbo black watermelon auctioned in Japan today fetched a record $6,100, making it one of the most expensive watermelons ever sold in the country.
In a society where melons are a luxury item commonly given as gifts, the watermelon's hefty price tag followed another jaw-dropping auction last month, when a pair of "Yubari" cantaloupe melons sold for a record $23,500.
The 7.7-kilogram, black-skinned "Densuke" watermelon, a variety grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido, was purchased today by a marine products dealer.
He said he wanted to support local agriculture.
The price was the highest on record for a Densuke watermelon, said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Tohma Agricultural Co-operative in Hokkaido.
Most retail at department stores and supermarkets for a more modest $188 to $283, Ohira said.
And what makes a watermelon worth $200, much less $6,000?
Ohira says it's the unusual black skin and unparalleled taste. "It's a watermelon, but it's not the same," he said.
© The Canadian Press, 2008