When I first heard about luxury fruits in Japan, I was skeptical — what kind of an idiot would buy ONE apple for $20!?
Well apparently, I’m that idiot. I recently made a trip to Sembikiya Fruit Parlor in Tokyo and spent $400 on fruit. Why are they so expensive, you ask? These fruits are grown in extremely controlled conditions to make sure they grow perfectly. Oftentimes, each plant only grows ONE fruit to make sure all the nutrients and juices go into one delicious treat. Here’s my taste test!
$1.60 Apple vs. $17 Apple
Aesthetically, it’s clear which apple in the photo is the more expensive one. The cheap one has multiple blemishes and the color is just dull. The Sembikiya apple is a vibrant red with a perfect shape and no blemishes.
Now for the taste test: The sembikiya apple was an ABSOLUTE game changer. Compared to the cheap apple, the Sembikiya one exploded with flavor and juices the second I took my first bite. The sweetness was absolute perfection. I had a total mouthgasm. Hands down the best apple I’ve ever tasted in my life.
25 Cent Banana vs. $3 Banana
Comparing these two bananas aesthetically was difficult aside from the fact that Sembikiya’s was much bigger. However, you will notice the differences once you peel them open to compare.
The cheap one (left) is not as vibrant as the expensive one (right). The colors of the Sembikiya banana was much more vibrant and detailed. I had a feeling this was going to be one damn good banana.
… And I was right! The expensive one tasted much sweeter with bolder flavors. Perhaps the biggest thing I recognized was the texture. The normal banana tasted slightly mushy like usual, but there was something special about Sembikiya’s. It tasted soft of course, but not too mushy. It really is hard to explain unless you taste it yourself.
50 Cent Persimmon vs. $9.40 Persimmon
Like the bananas, the persimmons were hard to tell apart aesthetically (expensive one is on the left). I will note that the cheaper one had more scratches and blemishes while Sembikiya’s was almost flawless.
We first cut open and tasted the regular one. Tasted sweet, texture was normal, nothing special.
Then we cut open Sembikiya’s. There wasn’t much of a different aesthetically compared to the cheap one. However, I will note that there seemed to be more moisture in Sembikiya’s.
Taste test: WOW! I don’t typically like persimmons because they tend to not be that juicy and kind of dry. This was the first persimmon I’ve ever had with actual juice inside of it. Like the Apple, it was an explosion of flavor and awesomeness. I finished it in a heart beat.
$1.80 Grapefruit vs. $18 Grapefruit
As expected, the cheaper grape fruit had a lot of blemishes and scratches. Sembikiya’s shape was almost perfectly spherical.
After cutting them open, Sembikiya’s (left) fruit pieces stayed intact more than the cheaper one (right).
The taste however, was a big letdown for me. Not because it wasn’t good, it was because both of them tasted relatively the same to me. Other people who tested it with me had the same feeling too. We unanimously agreed that paying 10x the normal price is not worth it for a grapefruit. Who knows, maybe the fruit we got was defective?
$15 melon vs. $270 melon
Now for the grand finale! A $15 muskmelon compared to a $270 muskmelon. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Aesthetically, the expensive melon (right) was perfectly shaped with almost zero flaws compared to the normal looking one.
The insides looked relatively similar. The cheaper one had a darker color, but it could be because it might’ve been more ripe than Sembikiya’s.
The normal one tasted delicious. It was juicy and sweet. Now on to the main event.
OH. MY. GOD. If heaven had a taste, I think this is what it would taste like. The flavors were AMAZING. The sweetness — impeccable. This was literally the best melon I’ve ever tasted in my life. I now realize why these cost so damn much.
Overall, you’re paying such a high price point because they simply look and taste a lot better. People say that once you taste these fruits, it’ll ruin your taste for normal fruit and it’s true. Ever since this experience, the taste of regular fruit has been much more dull and I’ve been a heavy critic of it.
Is it worth it? That’s up to you to decide. Personally, I think these fruits are more fit to give as gifts as opposed to regularly buying them to eat unless, of course, you have endless piles of cash lying around…
Check out our recent tour in Sembikia Fruit Parlor in Tokyo.