When you’ve been covering the food beat for as long as I have, you come across some pretty crazy stories. And sometimes, you have the pleasure of coming across the same one every year. The annual Ruby Roman grape auction in Japan definitely fits into that category – where people regularly buy a single bunch of grapes for the price of a decent used car.
Ruby Roman grapes are only grown in Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture and must meet additional criteria for weight and sugar content to qualify for the designation. But it’s the very first bunch of these grapes that is especially coveted because they are believed to bring good luck. So since 2008, when the grapes were first sold, this initial batch has seen its value continue to skyrocket.