Densuke Watermelon: Why Is This Japanese Fruit So Expensive?
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Almost any fruit is now easily accessible and reasonably priced. However, there are other fruits like the "Miyazaki" mangoes, which cost more than ₹2 lakh per kg, that you might want to reconsider purchasing. Similar to this, the "Densuke" watermelon has garnered a lot of attention in recent years due to its price of about Rs. 3-4 lakh per kilogram.

Although most watermelons in India have lustrous, black rind, the densuke watermelon is somewhat darker. The fruit is quite well-known in Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Japan. This type of watermelon is mostly grown on an island in Northern Japan. Densuke watermelons usually weigh between 5 and 10 kilograms. During the 2018 watermelon auction, densuke sold for a price above ₹3,90,000 which is enough to show how prized this variety of watermelons is.

What Exactly Is Densuke Watermelon?

The Japanese fruit densuke is well-known for being the most costly watermelon kind in the world. The watermelon has a distinct flavour from other watermelons and is crisp, firm, and black in colour.

It contains relatively few seeds as well. It is in high demand and costs a premium price. For safety, densuke watermelons are often packed in cubic cardboard boxes, which also contain certificates of authenticity.

Why Densuke Watermelons Are So Expensive?

A contributing factor to the watermelons' high cost? Limited availability. Only the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is used to cultivate densuke watermelons. The fruit is cultivated in the town of Tohma due to the unique environment of the island and the rich volcanic soil that contains minerals. The densuke watermelon variety, a Black Diamond type, was first introduced in 1981 when farmers in Hokkaido started cultivating crops other than typical rice fields. Only watermelons cultivated in the area that pass a stringent inspection process can be recognised as authentic densuke watermelons, which were patented in 1989.

There is a limited supply available each growing season due to their labour-intensive nature and high requirements for area, water, and care. Every harvest, the finest produce is offered for auction, with prices rising due to scarcity.

How Do Densuke Watermelons Taste?

The red, juicy flesh of the densuke watermelon is regarded as firm and crisp, and its flavour is notably sweeter because of its increased sugar content. The peel is black in colour. Since watermelons are revered in Japanese culture and the densuke is regarded as the king of them, they are handled like royalty throughout the whole process, from planting to picking to packing. The watermelons, which resemble bloated bowling balls, are manually rotated several times while they are still on the vine to prevent soft patches, discolouration, bruising, and uneven development. After being picked, every watermelon is polished to a glossy black finish, evaluated for quality and look, and then given an inspection sticker that serves as a document of authenticity and provenance. Each melon is then presented in eye-catching gift boxes.