Quality Control Perfection, Japanese Style

You have to give it to the Japanese.  Whey they do something, they’re all in, and they usually do it flawlessly: sushi, really fast trains, and you even have to admit they did a good job at Pearl Harbor (pretty much totally wiped out the US Pacific Fleet).

But, at times, it just seems like needless overkill, and in some instances, their obsession with perfection carries the requisite price tag.  Take, for example, the fruit shop Senbikiya in central Tokyo.  At first glance, you may think that you would have walked into a very swank department store, except for the fact that the wares on display are insanely high quality fruit.  Apples the size of a child’s head that are perfectly flawless retail for $25 a piece.  The pictures are mouthwatering, and I have a feeling that if I were ever to go there, it would end up making even Whole Foods, known for its superior (but not flawless) produce look like a Qwik-E-Mart.

The fruits are grown in climate-controlled greenhouses, and sometimes even get their own protective hats to wear while they develop on the vine.  Seeds are picked over by hand to remove the ones that will likely be weak growths, and even the seedlings that are struggling aren’t fully cultivated.  A box of a dozen perfectly matched strawberries is $83.  And a box of the perfect melons, what seems to be the priciest item, comes in at a cool $419 for three.

If there’s such a thing as ‘food porn,’ I’d have to say that things like this are pretty close to ‘food prostitution.’  Looks good, and comes with the price tag to match.


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