I could imagine someone paying eight grand for a great bottle of wine – but for a bunch of unfermented grapes? Better eat them fast before they go bad.
A single bunch of Ruby Roman grapes grown in the Ishikawa prefecture on the west coast of Japan sold for 1 million yen, or about $8,200, at auction today, smashing last year’s previous record price of 550,000 yen. This year’s bunch contained just 26 grapes, meaning each grape cost $315.
Chef Masayuki Hirai of Hotel Nikko Kanazawa placed the winning bid. He plans to use the grapes in the hotel’s restaurant over the next few days, so if you’re staying at Hotel Nikko Kanazawa and are looking to save some cash, maybe avoid the fruit salad.
According to the Wall Street Journal, though this grape variety – which was selectively bred over the course of 14 years to be sweeter and lower in acidity – has been coveted since it was introduced back in 2008, the first batch of fruit is thought to bring good luck in Japan, thus explaining the exorbitantly high bidding for this particular bunch. In stores, the same grapes would sell for the much more reasonable price of about (cough) $200. And you thought Whole Foods was bad.
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