Anyone who visited Meidi-ya in Singapore will have seen the expensive fruits from Japan on their shelves. So what do expensive Japanese fruits taste like?
I’m not the type of person to second mortgage a house to eat fruits. But I’ve always wondered how different do those very expensive Japanese fruits like those found at Meidi-ya taste like. Fortuntely, I’ve been invited to Okayama’s seminar, at the Hilton in Singapore, to try their famous White peach, Pione grape, and Shine Muscat grape recently.
Okayama is the a prefecture located south of Osaka and these are their best exports:
White Peach (Okayama Hakuto)
At about $50 per piece at Meidi-ya, Singapore (according to the Senior Manager at JTB, Ms Uchiha), the white peach’s skin has a subtle velvetiness with a faint yellowish and soft red blush. Each fruit is covered in a bag to protect it from the elements, which can account for the blemish-free appearance. The texture isn’t crunchy, but the opposite – soft and slippery in the mouth. The white “porcelain” flesh is soft and the taste is mellow sweet. Although it doesn’t have the drooling, juiciness I’ve experienced with Taiwanese peaches, it is, nontheless, succulent. Indeed, it is very pleasant.
A deep purple colour, these grapes are mildly sour at the skin and mildly sweet with a strong, distinctive Kyoho grape flavour. (Ie Grape soda flavour, for the lack of a better term to decribe it). The Japanese apparently like their grapes easy to peel, and the skin is indeed thicker than I expected. I guess that’s why they are easier to peel.
Shine Muscat Grape
These green grapes are my favorite. They are light green, and each looks like polished teardrop.
They are almost too perfect. At first I thought they were artificial. They way the skin reflects light made it look as though it was made of jade.
No tartness or sourness at all. They are mellow sweet with good crunch and snap to the skin with every bite. Nice. Best grapes I’ve ever tasted!
As a simple fruit with nutritional value, I would say these may be too overpriced for daily consumption. But giving Japanese fruits as a gift of friendship, which is the Japanese custom, I think the price is a reflection of the friendship’s value. In that case, it’s well worth the price.
By Frank Young