|Delicious Fruit Gift Hampers|
In Japan, luxury fruit belongs to a special product category that presents almost exclusively for providers of fruit gifts. Gift fruit-- which can include grapes, cherries, peaches and pears-- is nourished in a significant way, unique from average, normal fruit. And because of this it dictates a greater cost, whether it be in a fruit hamper or not.
Gourmet Gift Hamper
"Japan is probably the only nation in the world where you have fruit as a gift concept," said Ushio Ooshima, a director at Senbikiya, whose main store in Nihonbashi alone sells 40 to 50 high-priced melons a day and as many as 200 a day in the course of the mid-year and end-year gift-giving seasons. At Senbikiya, "99 percent of the transactions here are for gift," Ooshima said.
In the historic culture of get well gift giving, a melon may be provided as a special present to an important client, a business acssociate, to a professional to whom a financial obligation of gratitude is owed, or to an ill friend as a #get-well-soon gesture. Providing a fruit gift basket in Sydney is a completely different concept - where the focus is on cost and fruit share sizes.
The exceptional prices mirror exceptional strategies used in growing the fruit basket fruits. While an ordinary melon in grocery stores rarely costs more than $5, the high-priced version, usually a variety of musk melon, is nurtured by unique growers in certain locations, of which Shizuoka prefecture and Hokkaido are two of the best known. In Australia, we are most likely to be impressed with a tantalisingly fruit bouquet or edible bloom that features fresh fruit with free delivery.
Edible Fruit Gifts
|Fruit Gifts for #discerning Friends|
In Shizuoka, west of Tokyo, the hospital fruit gift melons are harvested in sophisticated green houses, complete with air-conditioners that fine-tune the temperate to optimal levels day and night. Melon vines are cultivated and farmed in a soil bedding that is separated from the ground, said Tsuneo Anma, general executive secretary of a growers' association based in Fukuroi city that produces the "Crown" brand of melons. Producing 3.5 million melons each year, the agricultural cooperative is the biggest specialty-melon grower in Japan. It is no wonder that hospital fruit and sympathy fruit are popular reason for sending a get well soon fruit hamper.
The soil separation is imperative to regulate moisture levels. "The moisture uptake by the tree roots must be optimized to promote proper amount of photosynthesis," Anma said. "If fruit gifts trees are raised in the ground, the roots will grow unregulated," making water absorption difficult to control. This is another reason free delivery fruit baskets are in a completely different league to thises prized luxury fruit presents.
Growers trim the vines so that only three melons will grow on each tree. When the baby melons grow to the size of a human fist, two are chopped off to allow the most promising one to monopolize all the nourishment from the vine. That one melon is counted on to mature into the juicy, beautiful and revered $100 dollar fruit. Imagine if we were to give fresh fruit at prices like this on FruitBaskets.net. au?
How diverse does the high-priced melon taste from a commonplace one? "They are absolutely different, from the scent of it to the texture of it," said Shigeko Hoshi who lives in Tokyo and occasionally eats the expensive get well fruit when her friends and family receives one in a fruit gift basket. "The sweetness is exquisitely balanced with the sourness of it.".
Many Japanese consider the exclusive melon, like the exclusive grape, cherry or pears, to be the perfect fruit gift, set apart by its aura of high-class and added value from what is otherwise a mass-produced pure product. When we shared this image on social media via twitter and facebook, we were astounded that people would pay such an extra price for luxury fruit gifts.
Hospital Fruit Delivery
"People go, 'What a difference does a get well gift melon make,"' Ooshima said. "People ordinarily don't eat the very best for themselves. They set it aside for others as a gift hamper," which is the very spirit of Japanese gift-giving.
"Less than 1 percent of the melons we grow certify as 'fuji,"' said Anma, referring to the top grading, which combines the greatest potential for fresh fruit taste with a perfect shape and appearance. "They need to look perfectly round with the mesh-like surface pattern impeccably even.".
While melons are the most expensive luxury fruit gifts as a category, even fuji-grade melons can be out-priced by out-of-season fruits, Ooshima, of Senbikiya said. Cherries in winter, from Yamagata prefecture in northern Japan, can fetch a Â¥ 50,000 price tag for just 300 grams, or 10 ounces. When we compare Australia's easy accessibility and low-cost prices for fresh fruit, it is no wonder we are amongst the highest fruit gift basket sharers in the world.