November 20, 2020 – Earlier this month, Japan kicked off it’s mandarin orange season and a crate of 100 mandarin oranges sold for 1 million yen, or $9,600. Yes, that’s $96 a mandarin.

“Fruit purchase and consumption are tied to social and cultural practices. It is not only an important part of their diet, but, perhaps more importantly, fruit is considered a luxury item and plays an important and elaborate ritual part in Japan’s extensive gift-giving practices,”

Soyeon Shim, via interview with CNN

What’s so special about these mandarins?

Culture

Fruit plays a special role in asian cultures. They are often gifted by family members as a sign of appreciation and gratitude. It holds special meaning.

Rarity

Only about 100 farmers produce these special mandarin oranges (also called mikan) in the Japanese region of Nishiuwa. 

Process

The process is truly a special one. During the growth period of the mikans, the sun hits it in 3 different ways – the sun itself, the reflection off stone walls and reflection off the sea resulting in a juicy, easy to peel mandarin. Pretty amazing.

Who bought the crate of oranges?

It is currently unknown who purchased these special mikans. In the past, it was a grocery store that used it for marketing purposes. 

Tell us, would you buy one of these oranges for $96? 

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