Densuke: the luxurious Japanese watermelon
Luxury food: Densuke Watermelons are few, good and rare
The summer fruit par excellence: the watermelon.
A plant of the Cucurbitaceae family, available in a stunning range of colors and sizes.
The most prized variety is the Densuke watermelon which produces large fruits up to 8 pounds, smaller than the standard size that are sold in Europe and the United States, but in Japan they cost much more than their weight.
They are very rare and every year there are about less than a hundred. The Densuke watermelon is considered the most expensive watermelon in the world and it can cost a minimum of 250 up to $ 6,000 each.
The final cost of this fruit reflects the amount of time and dedication to its cultivation space.
This Japanese watermelon grown only in the northern island of Hokkaido; its flavor is unsurpassed, with a completely different and much higher level of sweetness, characterized by a very red and crunchy (more or less the same consistency of our watermelons) with very few seeds.
It is known for its tough skin that has a very dark shade of green to appear sometimes black and shiny. The Densuke Watermelon is not yet widely grown outside of Japan, but the seeds begin to be commercially available in Europe and America.
For what concerns the amateur cultivation of these watermelons it is necessary to know that, in general, it occupies a considerable amount of space and are, therefore, not readily nestable in many gardens. They also require several months of care and maintenance, making them available for sale in a few pieces per year (in 2016 the production was about 70,000 pieces – data from farmers of Toma city).
In 2016 the record price reached by the auction sale of the first available fruit of the season totaled ¥ 500,000 (about 4.187 EUR). But it is not the most expensive price at which it was sold: in 2008 reached a record with 650,000 ¥.
Even the way it is packaged is particularly compared with the Italian habits: it is presented in an elegant cubic cardboard box with protection to keep it from denting and certificate of origin is included.
For this reason and because it is a sought after and cultivated fruit with a lot of attention and care, it is considered a precious gift on special occasions, like weddings, various congratulations gender and as a gesture to reciprocate a favor received.