Unique Fruits Becoming Popular in Japan

October 25, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. prized / ˈpraɪzd / (adj.) – referring to something that is important or valuable
Example: They consider melons as prized fruits because they sell for a high price. 

2. texture /ˈtɛks tʃər / (n.) – how food feels in the mouth when eaten
Example: The chocolate had a crunchy texture because of the nuts.

3. raw / / (adj.) – not cooked
Example: I don’t eat raw fish dishes like sashimi.

4. blemish / ˈblɛm ɪʃ / (n.) – an imperfection
Example The watermelon didn’t have any blemishes.

5. luxury / ˈlʌk ʃə ri / (n.) – something that is expensive and usually not needed
Example: Fruits are a luxury I can’t afford with my allowance. 


Read the text below.
New types of fruit are becoming more popular in Japan.

An Australian fruit called finger lime has been gaining popularity in the country. The fruit is often called “citrus caviar” [SI-truh s KAV-ee-ahr] because its appearance and texture resembles that of the prized fish eggs. The fruit is served with fresh oysters at an Australian restaurant in Tokyo called Salt. In other places, finger lime has been served with other food, such as raw meat dishes, desserts, and even in cocktails. At ¥700 for 40 grams, or about three pieces, finger limes are usually used only by high-end restaurants.

Another fruit that Japanese shoppers are excited about is the banapple, a banana with an apple-like flavor. The fruit was developed by Sumifru, an importer and supplier of fruits. Even though banapples are pricey at ¥540 for a bag of five or six, they usually sell out quickly.

Aside from developing unique fruits, Japan has also been known to sell fruits that are perfect in appearance. Tourists are often surprised by fruits in Japanese markets as they are perfectly shaped and free from blemishes. Hiroko Ishikawa, who is in charge of a fruit distribution business, shares that unlike vegetables, fruits are a luxury in the country. While vegetables are eaten on a daily basis, fruits are not. Thus, if people were to buy fruits, they might as well get something that looks good.

Aside from looking good, fruits have also made headlines in Japan because of their price. Last May, a pair of Hokkaido yubari melons sold for ¥1.5 million. This was still cheaper than last year’s record when they sold for ¥2.5 million.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the possible reasons why fruits are expensive in Japan?
·         Would you buy fruits that are fresh but not perfect in appearance? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you could develop your own kind of fruit, what kind of fruit would it be and why?
·         Do you believe that appearance is the most important quality in a fruit? Justify your answer. 

October 25, 2015