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.
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.
One of these rare and beautiful watermelons sold for $6,100 in Japan a few years ago.
A black jumbo watermelon auctioned in northern Japan fetched a record $6,100 in 2008, making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold in the country — and possibly the world.
The 17-pound premium “Densuke” watermelon, grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido, was purchased by a marine products dealer who said he wanted to support local agriculture, according to Kyodo News agency.
In a country where melons are a luxury item commonly given as gifts, the watermelon’s hefty price tag follows another jaw-dropping auction last month, where a pair of “Yubari” cantaloupe melons sold for a record $23,500.
“This is the highest price on record for a Densuke watermelon, and that probably means it’s the highest of any watermelon in Japanese history,” said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Tohma Agricultural Cooperative in Hokkaido.
It has unusual black skin, Ohira said. Inside, the watermelon is crisp and hard. And, he says, it has unparalleled taste.
“It’s a watermelon, but it’s not the same,” he said. “It has a different level of sweetness.”