This is what a $25 bunch of grapes looks like

Just took this at the store up the street. Actually, you gotta buy two bunches for $50.


I actually planted this vine (Seto Giants) a couple years ago, and it’s the most troublesome of my three great types. Very slow weird grower, and always the first to get hit with bugs, last to recover.

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$2 for the grapes, $2 for the labour to wrap it up, $2 for wrapping material, $2 for transportation & $17 to gouge Asian customers looking to impress their friends with super expensive, nicely presented fruit.

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Back in the mid-1980s when I was in Japan on a job, a store manager definitely did not want me taking pictures of the groceries. It was novel to me that more shelf space was taken up by octopus than by ground beef. And I had never seen green tea ice cream.

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Not really apropos of anything, but I remember I had a professor who had been an officer in the US Army in the 1950s and was stationed in Japan. The economy was still in such shambles (especially compared to the United States) that he claimed he could live as well as the top 1% of Japanese society. Even years later, you could tell he was absolutely stunned at what he could afford and how well he lived in Japan on a first lieutenant’s salary. For example, he said he was welcomed to restaurants and dining at tables next to him were top executives from Mitsubishi and the like.

At any rate, I thought of him when you posted the pictures of the $25 Japanese grapes, lol. I’m sure he could have afforded their equivalent back then.

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I guess I shouldn’t show you the $70 peaches… ( actually, you get six peaches in a box for 70 bucks).

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Have you ever try one? It must taste good for that kind of price.

Tony

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I doubt that taste is the key factor. It’s all about appearance.

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At the rate of fruit prices I would be eating rice!

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So is that the price of all fruit, or just super special fancy stuff? Can you get “everyday” fruit at reasonable prices?

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Sadly, the number of calories per square foot is low with fruits. In Japan, where I also work about one month per year, all flat land is devoted to rice to feed the extremely dense population. They grow it between houses, in areas no wider than 25 ft, and all non cultivated flat ground is devoted to vegetable gardens. Most fruit is grown in the mountains, and they supplement the acid and vitamins in their food by eating lots of short-fermented vegetables.

I, too, had a misadventure when I was in Nagoya in late July about 6 years ago, with 100+ temp and high humidity. After 3 days of sushi and heat I just had to get me some fruits, I was madly craving them. That left me 96 dollars poorer, and the fruit was gone at the end of the next day. I held on another day and then I was able to depart to more fruit friendly locales. Now when there in summer I get asian pears from local farmers near Tsukuba. Those are reasonably priced, like 4-5 dollars for 6, very big fruit too, as big as the KG i see in the Midwest, and as you all know, quite refreshing. Earlier in summer, blueberries are reasonably priced, and there are three che trees at the lab. Then there is Costco.

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In Japan fruit, beef and fish are like jewels! Very pricey, very perfect!

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slightly OT but the Japanese vegetable gardens are impressive in some ways. First, between meticulous weeding and/or very heavy use of rice straw, they are often spotless when it comes to weeds. Let us just say that their tolerance of weeds is orders of magnitude lower than mine. They compost everything, and farmers who sell you food ask you to bring them your kitchen scraps for fertilizer (yes, I keep them in the fridge until it is time to go shop. they will give free blueberry or corn for a good bag).

Then, the choice of vegetables. All heavy producers, sturdy vegetables, very traditional, similar to what it was here in the Midwest 20 years ago. There will be turnips, cabbage, eggplant, daikon, and that as far as I can tell is 80% of the production and they know exactly how they are going to use it in the kitchen. None of these fancy heirloom toms. many yards have persimmon trees of course, and you can occasionally see the strings of drying persimmons outside in November. Farther South, say Hiroshima and surroundings, many have avocado trees.

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