The Most Coveted Banana in the World?

Rachel Tepper Paley
Yahoo Food

All photos credit: Dole Japan

How much is the perfect banana worth? Dole Japan is on a mission to find out.

Early Friday morning at a Takashimaya Department Store in Tokyo, Dole released 59 limited-edition premium bananas priced at the equivalent of $5.80 USD a pop. The fruits, Dole’s prized Gokusen variety, were each emblazoned with a serial number and packaged prettily in a gift box.

Yes, we know. You have a lot of questions.

Why might people be willing to shell out cold hard cash for a $6 banana in a box? According to Japan Today, Dole scientists used 100 different types of bananas to breed what it deemed a perfect specimen, then grew the resulting strain at an undisclosed location 500 meters above sea-level, where temperatures are perfect for banana growing.

This reportedly resulted in a banana that’s 36.5 percent sweeter, 33.4 percent more fragrant, and 40 percent better textured than conventional bananas.

And why were only 59 bananas sold for this recent promotion? Kotaku explains: “The name of these bananas is ‘Gokusen,’ with the character for ‘goku’ referring to ‘extreme’ or ‘culmination,’ and the character for ‘sen’ referring to ‘compilation.’ Since they were released on May 9 (5/9), the event is a Japanese pun: the number five is ‘go’ while the number nine is ‘ku.’” 

So there you have it. Super-expensive bananas. If you’re mystified as to why anyone would buy them, remember that people apparently find more expensive foods tastier. So it’s just science.

[via Kotaku]