A peek at the display showcases at markets throughout Vietnam are increasingly revealing expensive Japanese treasures of a surprising kind.
Red mango. Japanese specialize in selling mouth-watering produce at eye-watering prices. This mango sells for US$50. Fruit purchases in Japan are tied to social and cultural practices.
Biwa or loquat run US$90 for half a kilo. Fruit like these are considered by Japanese as an essential part of their diet. They also play an elaborate ritual part in extensive gift-giving practices.
White strawberries go for US$45 for half a kilo. A Japanese grower reports it’s hard getting their shape just right. It’s taken him 15 years to reach this level of perfection.
Watermelon. Japanese melons fetch nearly US$30 per kilo. Across Japan, such products regularly sell for tens of thousands of US dollars at auction houses— with one reportedly selling for US$27,240.