Earlier this week, a bunch of 24 Ruby Roman grapes sold for 1.2m Yen – which is approximately R154 554 00, in the central Japanese city of Kanazawa, CNN reports.
The winning bidder was Takashi Hosokawa, the manager of a chain of hot spring hotels in Ishikawa Prefecture known as Hyakurakuso, on the northern coast of the main Honshu island.
Around 40 bunches of grapes, which were developed by the Ishikawa prefectural government, went under the hammer and had to meet strict criteria on sugar content and size.
The grapes are lauded for their juiciness, high sugar content and low acidity.
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The infamous Ruby Roman grape grown in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It is red in color and about the size of a ping-pong ball. They are said to be the most expensive variety of grapes. In 2016, it was sold for 1.1 million yen in the year’s first auction at a wholesale market in Kanazawa. It’s available now at our restaurant #japanfruitporn #rubyroman #japanfruit #koyaku #yummy #airflown #foodie #chefspecial #tamandesa #musttry #best #fine #instachef #omakase
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The sale makes the bunch the most expensive since the rare variety came to market 12 years ago, the auctioneers said.
Three years ago, a bunch was sold at the same auction for 1.1m yen, approximately R141 751.
Their value has rocketed since they were first put on the market in 2008, when they cost just 100 000 yen (R12 881).
The Ruby Roman grapes have been hugely popular since their inception and are sold in limited numbers to help keep demand and exclusivity high.
In Japan, fruit is considered a luxury product and features heavily in Japan’s gift-giving culture, along with other gourmet foodstuffs including frozen steaks, whisky and black tea.
The trend for high-end fruit is not just confined to Japan either.