Today we like to highlight the Japanese Musk Melon. The musk melon in Japan has been sometimes called ‘the king of fruit’, and is often given as gifts – as is the common custom in the land of the rising sun. The musk melon can probably be seen as related to its more common variety of cantaloupe and honeydew. However, the musk melon is far more sweeter and juicier.
Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, with a net-like, ribbed crust or peel, and sweet orange flesh. It grows well in moderate subtropical, warm climates and prefers rich, well-drained, fertilized soil. Along with excellent taste, muskmelon also offers essential nutrients and several health benefits though it is often perplexed with other varieties of melons like cantaloupe.
Muskmelon has a sweet, musky taste and high sugar content that lingers on the tongue for long.
Historically, fruit has played a large role in the nation’s gift giving culture. During the fourteenth century, samurais would offer tangerines or melons to the shogun, their leader, as a sign of loyalty and appreciation. Today this attitude still exists; however, arguably the fruit can be seen more as a vessel of appreciation with the tagged value being the greatest symbol, rather than the piece of fruit itself. An expensive piece of fruit may sound ridiculous, but the implied value is where it gets its worth.
Another reason fruit is so expensive here in Japan is simply because it’s so perfect. Farmers spend their careers dedicated to cultivating the perfect fruits, season after season, tirelessly growing, harvesting inspecting, and altering until they create the perfect specimen.
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