In Asia, fruit can cost a lot of money. Take these grapes and watermelons I saw at a store in Singapore.
I think at the time one Singapore dollar was about = $1 so that is a $178 cantaloupe and $350 for grapes! You can find the same in Korea and Japan. Here are some strawberries I saw in a Korean market. Note the color and the packaging. A lot of care went into this.
A couple of year ago, I had dinner at the 3 Michelin Star Sushi Amane in New York. For dessert, they served a single strawberry. The chef proudly proclaimed that it had been flown in from Tokyo that day.
Other than the one at Sushi Amane, I never tried one of the crazy priced ones in Asia. So recently, this caught my attention at the local Asian grocery store.
These were from Korea. Note again the packaging. Each piece separated from the other by foam. Although they weren’t hundreds of dollars, at $16.88, or $1.68 each, I estimate they were still about 15x more expensive than the average strawberry from North America. Was it worth it?
I remember being blown away by some of the fruit I ate in Asia. I particularly remember melons from Hokkaido. These did not blow me away. Color wise, they were more vibrant than the average strawberry. As for texture, these were lusciously soft. Taste-wise, I would say they were better than average but not 15x better.
I don’t know if the Asian variety have a season or if they are available year round. However, when strawberries are in season here, I will do a comparison test and post again.