It’s the season for Miyazaki mangoes! Open your mouths wide, your wallets even wider.

By on May 16, 2017

1 piece of Miyazaki mango sells for ¥1,980 at a Tokyo supermarket.

Despite Japan’s wabi sabi culture of accepting imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness, it is also as we know it, a country of zany fruits.

Japan’s “Taiyo no Mango”,  a sun ripe apple mango variety from the Irwin mango cultivar grown in Miyazaki,  is the most expensive mango in the world.  I’m not joking. In April 2014, Nikkei News reported that a 2-pc pack weighing 1 kilogram was sold at an auction for a stunning ¥300,000 (US$2,634). 

So what’s so special about Miyazaki mangoes?  According to Miyazaki growers, they have the best umami, scent and color grown in the best environment.  But don’t all growers from other mango-exporting countries like Taiwan, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand do the same?  Apparently not.

Miyazaki mangoes owe its intense flavor to a labor-intensive and intricate cultivation process.  The mango groves are generally grown in a greenhouse so that the fruit is not exposed below 15 degrees in winter.  Each fruit is covered in nets just before harvest time. The growers also do not cut the ripe fruit from the tree. Instead, they wait for the fruits to fall into the net naturally which makes for a perfectly bright, fleshy and best-tasting mangoes.

The advantage of growing mangoes in a greenhouse over an open ground is that trees begin producing three years after being planted, whereas open ground trees generally take four years. This method helps Miyazaki produce larger quantities of high quality mangoes. It is now the second largest producer of Taiyo no Mango in Japan.

Miyazaki mangoes are sold at supermarkets from mid April to July but June harvest is the best.

 

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