clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Prized and pricey Ruby Roman grapes
Prized and pricey Ruby Roman grapes

In a typical U.S. grocery store, a bunch of grapes is probably one of the cheapest snacks money can buy. In Japan, however, a single bunch of grapes just sold at auction for 1.1 million yen — or nearly $11,000.

As the Guardian reports, that's the equivalent of approximately $350 per grape. These were not the seedless green orbs that populate subpar fruit salads at restaurants across America, however: They're a prized variety called Ruby Roman, and in Japan they're apparently considered a status symbol.

Cultivated in the Ishikawa prefecture, Ruby Romans first hit the market in 2008; "to qualify for the Ruby Roman designation, each grape must weigh at least 20g and have a sugar content of at least 18%," the Guardian explains. The grapes' purchaser, a buyer for a supermarket in western Japan, says the store intends to give out samples to a few lucky customers.

Grapes aren't the only fruit that can fetch crazy prices in Japan, where fruit is seen as a luxury item and is frequently given as a gift: A department store in Shinjuku previously sold a special breed of Dole bananas individually packaged in fancy boxes for $6 each. Melons are especially prized and regularly fetch thousands of dollars, and apples can cost more than $5 apiece.