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You may have heard about it? Perhaps you’ve seen it? Just in case, I present to you the famous square watermelon from Japan, and much more.
One day, sitting watching TV, I watched an episode of The Simpsons: The Simpsons in Japan. And then, suddenly Homer Simpson grabbed a square watermelon that eventually it exploded in his face. This was my first view of the square watermelon. Until last year, when, in Tokyo it has crossed my path. Installed on a spread of a department store in Tokyo Station, it was there, it was waiting for me and taunting me with its exorbitant price.
Those who know me know that I love trying new things, especially a culinary point of view. Before coming to Japan, I set myself the goal to sample the square watermelon. I remember even talking to my friend Aki (whom you can find the interview here), which in turn did not know about this mysterious fruit.
Unfortunately, I have not tasted it yet. It’s very simple, the price made me flee. How? The first one I saw had a price of 45,000 yen, or about 450 euros. The price per bite will be so expensive.
Otherwise, for the anecdote, I will trace the history of this fruit to abnormal forms, this famous Japanese square watermelon.
Square watermelon: from oval to the cube
It all began there over 30 years in the Kagawa Prefecture, where some Japanese farmers wanted to solve a math problem. The equation was simple: how to transport a maximum of watermelon in a truck without losing space because of the shape of the latter?
And yes, if you have not noticed, the watermelon is oval. However, when stacked oval, or round, there are always spaces empty that creates and generates a loss. It’s annoying in a financial point of view, because every trip make some lost in space and it is not profitable in transport.
It is at this moment came the idea of creating a watermelon to the cubic form, in order to solve this problem.
Square watermelon: how does it work?
How to make a square watermelon? That’s the question that these farmers have posed. And they have found the solution. It’s simple and it doesn’t even use chemicals or GMOs.
When the watermelon is still small, and strong enough, it is inserted in a glass box of 19 cm square in order to finish its process of evolution. Once the maximum size is reached, it is picked.
Unfortunately, this watermelon never reaches its optimal level of maturity and therefore the taste is no longer the same. Some people describe it as having a sweet taste of cucumber. I am strongly waiting that my income allows me the financial test.
Square watermelon: a great success
The problem with this watermelon is its cost. Indeed, each watermelon requires a box, which multiplies the cost of the latter. Already watermelons are not necessarily affordable in Japan (around 1000 Yen for a regular watermelon, about 10 euros), you can imagine the price of watermelons in cubic forms.
But despite its exorbitant price, it knows a great success. It must be said that with a pretty ribbon, it is a nice and original gift to your relatives. A luxury gift you might say.
It is found for sale in the fruit shops or high quality department stores. These days I see even in the supermarket where I usually do my shopping.
This original form for a fruit made that farmers have decided to give new forms to watermelons. Thus, there are pyramid-shaped watermelons, heart-shaped and much more.
In Aichi Prefecture, in 2002, agricultural students even did grow square melons. There is, at the same time, farmers who offer cucumbers, which when cut, give you a star-shaped or heart.
Further, in China, a farmer sells small pear-shaped like Buddha.
And you what do you think? Do you want to try them? What fruit or vegetable would you like to transform and in which form would you like to see them?