Two juicy Yubari King melons have been sold at a Japanese auction for a record-breaking 36,000 GBP.
The record sale took place during the season’s first auction at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in the city of Sapporo, capital of the mountainous northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The 5-million-JPY (36,000-GBP) winning bid beat the all-time record of 3.2 million JPY (22,995 GBP) that was bid at the first auction of Yubari Kings last year.
Technically considered a cantaloupe, the Yubari King is a hybrid of two other cantaloupe varieties, Earl’s Favourite and Burpee’s ‘Spicy’ Cantaloupe.
Originally, cantaloupe referred only to the European non-netted, orange-fleshed melons, but today mainly refers to any orange melon.
The Yubari King is known for its soft and juicy flesh and high sugar content and they usually sell for between 4,000 and 10,000 JPY (29 and 72 GBP) each.
In Japan, it is customary to give the premium cantaloupes to loved ones as gifts.
According to local media, the cantaloupes were bought by the Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage company based in Tokyo to mark the 10th anniversary of their popular melon-flavoured drink.
President Yoshihiro Iwata said: “As our company was founded in Sapporo, I had been thinking that there must be something I can do for Hokkaido.”
Iwata wants to display the melons at the New Chitose Airport and nearby Sapporo Dome before having them analysed to help improve the company’s products.
According to reports, melon harvesting began in Yubari, well known for its fruit production, this week and is expected to peak in early July.