This sight to behold is not a genetic mutation, for this square fruit is indeed real! Farmers in Japan have figured out the optimal way to grow, store, and display melons.
How is such a feat possible? Mr. Okumura, interviewed by PingMag , explains “the farmers first make a frame and put a small watermelon in it, just like pouring metal in a mold. The watermelon fills the given shape as it grows.” So far melons have been shaped to resemble everything from a face to dice.
This is no new technology. The cubic watermelon was cultivated by a Japanese farmer over twenty years ago!
The cubic watermelon is cheaper to ship, takes up less space in the grocery store, and easily fits into a compact refrigerator.
It took a group of high school students to apply the cubic idea to a muskmelon (think of a honeydew or cantaloupe). Their melon was officially trademarked as a Kaku-Melo.
The focus around melons in Japan may have to do with the fact that Watermelons are considered a luxury gift , since few are grown in the country.
Even though originally created for convenience, these premium shape shifters cost more than their regular counterparts. For a price comparison, a cheap normal watermelon will cost about $30 in Japan, while a cubed one goes for about $100! While the rarely produced “pyramid watermelon” goes for 80,000 yen (650 US Dollars or 480 Euro)!
The fruit shaping idea has now spread to vegetables. The JR Chiba Midori Asahi Cucumber Company now markets “Heart Stick” and “Start Stick” shaped cucumbers.
Who know what new fruit and vegetable forms will be seen next!