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Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Want to Taste the World's Most Expensive Mango?

Prior to our arrival in Seoul to teach English in Korea, someone told me that Seoul was an expensive city to live in. I kept an open mind and ignored the comment, waiting to make my own judgment after reaching the Korean peninsula. Well, now that I'm here...some things certainly are cheaper than back home (think clothes and accessories) but there are still some pricey items here, compared to back home and other world cities.

Have you checked out my mini "World's Most _______ " list? Think back to:
The World's Most Expensive Maple Syrup
The World's Worst Goldfish Bowl
The World's Most Heavily Defended Border
Well today I'm adding to that list...The World's Most Expensive Mango!

I've said this before and I'll say it again: fruit is expensive in South Korea. There must be crazy import taxes on fruit from abroad, because the selection here is limited to fruit that is domestically grown. Finding cheap tropical fruit can be difficult. Apples and oranges can be over a dollar each. Kiwis can cost $1-2 each or more. Korean pears can cost up to $16 each (during Chuseok)! Now this one is the kicker...a single mango spotted inside the Lotte Department Store a while back for 31,800w, or $34US! There must be diamonds or gold inside this mango, because this is one expensive piece of fruit.

On another fruit related note, check out this machine that was recently in Homever--why work when the machine can do it for you?

Spotted recently in the subway...a different form of in your face advertising...feel like drinking Pepsi?

What's your favorite fruit? How much do you pay for it and where are you located?


Catherine June said...

Ah...its the same in Japan...I heard fruits are really expensive there. A reason why we always serve big fruit platter as welcome amenities in hotel rooms for Japanese guests. They really appreciate our "generousity". Actually, here in Perth, fruits aren't that expensive. Mangos (in season) cost a dollar each. Apples and orange maybe 40cents each. Bananas used to be cheap but now is around $4.85/kg. Fruits in Singapore are dirt cheap.

Sandra said...

At the Wal-Mart here kiwis are 33 cents and mangos are a dollar a piece, not sure about apples or oranges.

hirocakep said...

I also supprised how expensive fruits are in Korea. I thought there are cheaper than Japan before I came to but more expensive. About mango in Japan it was USD 2-8(import)、USD 8-15(domestic, without agricultural chemicals) normally. My wife was almost black out when she looked the price of durian, her favorite fruit at E-mart. The price was W110,000(USD120) :D

windy said...

Hi! I totally agree that it's the same in Japan. I saw their watermelons, honey dews and rock melons going from $60. In Singapore, we have apples selling at 5 for as low as $1, depending on the origins. By the way, I got a shock of my life when I saw a Japanese broccoli costing abt $10 at a Japanese supermarket in Singapore. I wonder if vegetables are that expensive in Japan too.

patricia said...

Nothing beats Philippine mangoes. Super cheap too I can eat a bushel ;)
Fruits here are AWESOME!

Natasha said...

I just read about expensive fruit in Japan the other day from Mike's Blender -- unbelievable!
You should have hoarded all the cheap, fresh fruit from HK eh? Mmmm papayas

Gdog said...

Thanks for the responses everyone, very interesting! If I want fruit badly, I'll just pay the outrageous prices. Sometimes you're better off buying from the farmers on the street.

hirocakep: regarding durian, tell me about it--I love it too and it's super expensive here. I did splurge a few times when they were 17,000w each for a frozen one at Carrefour (now Homever).

natasha: I was considering bringing back some fruit, but I didn't want to risk having it seized going through customs in Korea. Oh well, maybe next time!

Mrs J said...

so now i know why my mom is always serving fruit to guests when they come over and trying to get us to eat it after dinner...fruit fruit fruit. apples, oranges, cha meh or bae, if it's in season...

eliza bennet said...

In İstanbul every fruit except the tropical ones are very very cheap. Apple is my favorite fruit and a kilo costs about 1 USD in here. We never buy single fruit, everything is by kilo, one or more - now the cherry season started and the cherries are very cheap and varied.

But if you want to buy a mango you can only get it in big supermarkets and priced slightly less than Korea.
The most expensive fruit is Avocado (I don't whether this is fruit or not)

When in Korea I was suprised by tomatoes being treated as fruit, to me they are vegetable :)

imoet said...

i love durian, but it's so damn expensive!!!
i saw once at E-mart dongchun, Incheon. It's 110,000 won!
Here's the picture: http://shiefrallo.blogspot.com/2006/11/durian.html

Gdog said...

eliza b: technically, tomatoes are really fruit, but I am with you categorizing it as a vegetable. However, Koreans love their tomatoes!

imoet: whoa! that is one expensive durian!!!!!

Sue said...

Hey gdog, if you do drop by Malaysia someday especially during the durian season (Jan/July), you can take your fill of only about USD3(depending on quality) per fruit! During the season, they even set up makeshift stalls selling a truckload of durians where people just eat it for their dinner! And all the stuff they make with durian, fresh durian puffs, durian cakes, durian ice-cream, durian milkshake, durian candy... *drools* :D~~~

I love mangosteen too.. it is also common practice here to eat mangosteen after the durian to counter the "'yeethei'. Another alternative is to drink mild salt solution from the durian's husk.

Brendan said...

not that it's surprising... but this past may i visited costa rica. not only are mango trees just growing up every old where, but at several spots right in the beach, people were selling THE BEST mango i've ever had (along with the best pineapple!)!! they had little stands, you'd ask for a mango, they'd cut it right up, and put it in a little plastic bag for about .20usd. a great snack after a day at the beach. and i thought it was a bargain even before i saw your 16usd mangoes!

Zola said...

It should definitely reach some museum as expensive food items like this one needs a deserving recognition, and who knows it would generate more sales via promotion as there is no dearth of uber-rich.

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