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Super Expensive Japanese Grapes

July 31, 2017

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Hello everyone!

Allow me to say that we didn’t originally plan on making this video. I joked about it after shooting the expensive melon video, only because Martina had great reactions whenever I suggested the grapes. It seems that a lot of you wanted to actually see us try these grapes, though. When we did our last livestream, the comment section had a chant asking for grapes, and many people contributed via the SuperChat in order for us to buy them. And so we were obliged.

The $200 grapes were sold out, though, but – from our research – the grapes we bought were the same grapes. So that’s good! The company that makes these grapes sold them at first for $200, and now for $150, and on their website they’re entirely sold out at the moment. According to them, these grapes are “a new variety with the refreshing fragrance of Muscat. It has a high sugar content of level 20 and a low acidity which gives the impression of a very sweet grape. Shine Muscat produced in Okayama are well known for its high quality and beautiful appearance. In season from early July till late October.”

What surprised me most about these grapes wasn’t the grapes themselves, but how we adapted to them. The default grapes were ok. Not great grapes, but not horrible. But after trying the super expensive grapes, the default grapes tasted bad. Just bad bad BAD. And they didn’t taste that way before. Context and contrast are such strong means of understanding the world, and here was a very expensive way to show it. Which kind of brings me to another thought about rich people. I’m thinking, if you’re used to eating all the best food and amazing fruits like this, and they become your standard, what can excite you later on? I just read a quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger where he said “money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.” I can’t relate to him personally because I don’t have millions to my name, but I can’t imagine eating grapes like this regularly, and having other fruit excite me if that’s my standard.

But our standards change, and we adapt after a while. When we went back to Canada in May, the first thing we ate was Tim Hortons. We usually love Tim Hortons. But after spending a year and a half in Japan and eating amazing food here, Tim Hortons tasted HORRIBLE. Just horrible. We couldn’t finish eating it, it was that bad. However, right before we flew back to Japan, after three weeks in Canada, we had Tim Hortons again, and it was great! I’m not sure if it’s because the two times were prepared differently, or if it’s because our tastes adapted over time.

I sure am thinking too much about grapes. Let me get back to being silly. Here are some extra scenes if you’re up for it!

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Super Expensive Japanese Grapes

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  1. I love that you showed us your miniature set up! So cool seeing everything up close and your fancy PB & J was SO CUTE!

    3 weeks ago
  2. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy another food tasting video, but I really did enjoy this one, luckily I also had lunch at the same time so that I didn’t get so hungry this time ;). Muscat-type grapes and seedless muscat-type grapes aren’t that easy to come by, but once a year you can get them around here at the farmers’ market that have Niagara Falls vendors, for a pretty regular-type price. They come in all colours (red/black/white). To me, they certainly are the sweetest grapes and they also have that kind of hint of “wine” flavour. So, I guess that variety does have something to do with their sweetness but, as someone who has grapes in her garden, I can also tell that the expensive grapes are princesses. In order to get the grapes that big without them melding into one another, most of the grapes in the bunch are removed to make room so that the plant pours more sweetness into each grape that’s left. Many wine-grape growers will dock their bunches in general for this reason but I’ve never seen such a detailed/symmetrical removal so that must take lots of care. The semi-sarcastic Midnight Munchies was great and it was super adorable to see some of your miniatures Martina – no doubt you could take a whole adventure in all your collections XD. I’ve been away in vacation so I’ll just say that lots of people in Asia put salt on their watermelon to make it sweeter and it works….especially if the melon isn’t that sweet to begin with. Never knew this ’til I went to China though.

    I really enjoyed the opening of the grape-tasting video, with the music and editing, super funky!

    3 weeks ago
  3. Woo! Okayama represent!
    I was wondering, when I first saw that you guys were trying muscat, if they were from the Okayama prefecture. I haven’t gotten to try the grapes yet themselves but they’re selling muscat flavored things here like crazy right now (because they’re in season of course). But Simon mentioned trying peaches…I’d go with the Okayama white peaches, or Okayama hakuto 岡山白桃, because they’re supposedly like the best peaches in Japan, and Okayama is famous for them. I’ve tried a few before when they’re in season, but they were always like the cheap ¥500 for a pack of four so they weren’t fantastic. But they do taste really different from like…the peaches we’re used to in North America, so I wonder how amazing the super expensive ones would taste…

    3 weeks ago
  4. I like Shine Muscat シャインムスカット and bought them frequently past 2 consecutive late falls (Oct- early Nov) I’ve been to Japan as a tourist. Probably my favorite fruit I’ve tried there. They indeed taste very different from any grape I’ve had in US or other countries I’ve been to besides Japan so far.

    I can’t compare them to ¥15,000 one you folks bought, but I’d imagine they taste similar, certainly much more closer than the ¥1620 regular muscat (Alexandria アレキサンドリア) you compared with as they are of different varieties. It would’ve been more interesting if you compared the cheap Shine Muscat vs the expensive one btw.

    The ones I bought were always ¥853-1674, obviously in a smaller size bunch – about a half size of that ¥15,000 one, each grape being also much smaller as well. I’ve bought them usually from random small local supermarkets or big supermarket chains like Life ライフ throughout Tokyo (i.e. Shinjuku, Shimbashi, Ebisu, Jiyugaoka, Yanesen, etc) and Kyoto area, so it’s rather easy to find. Even bought one at Tokyu food basement in Shibuya, so department basement stores should have them as well – even if you wouldn’t find them as low as ¥853 there due to markup. Perhaps you folks already know this (cheaper ones available), but I had an impression that this was the first time trying Shine Muscat from the video so figured I would write here. :)

    As far as I know Shine Muscat and Momotaro grape (peach shaped grape hence the name) are the only seedless white grape. Momotaro tastes somewhat similar but still Shine Muscat is my favorite. I memorized “シャインムスカット”, so that I can always get the correct one instead of ones with seeds as white grape can look similar, especially among regular priced ones.

    3 weeks ago
  5. Have you guys ever watched Firefly? Every time you guys do one of these super expensive fruit videos I think of the scene where Kaylee takes a strawberry as payment for passage on the ship. lol

    3 weeks ago
    • I thought the same thing, especially since the grapes were called “Shine Muscat” grapes. I immediately exclaimed, “Shiny!”

      3 weeks ago