Citrus is real! Scientists have crossed two fruits to create a juicy, sweet and slightly sour ‘lemon watermelon’ – but at an eye-watering price.
Japanese farmers have developed an entirely new fruit called Lemon Melon Creators, which they describe as ‘deeply sweet’ with a hint of lemon acidity, will reportedly sell for ¥3,218 – the equivalent of £17.79 or $23.30.
Watermelon is a summer staple for many with a refreshing touch of sweetness to lift you up in the midday sun.
But farmers have now added the zing you didn’t know you needed, with the launch of the all-new ‘Lemon Melon’ in the Japanese market.
The aptly named Franken-fruit is a product combining watermelon and lemon – ‘deeply sweet’ with a touch of sour to create a unique flavour.
It has the familiar shape and appearance of a watermelon but completely omits its typical green stripes and also has an unusual white interior.
Despite weighing less than the typical 20-25Ibs watermelon at 3.3-4.4Ibs, HBCNews claims the lemon watermelon is selling for ¥3,218 – or £17.79/$23.30.
Japanese farmers have invented a whole new fruit called lemon watermelon
The Lemon Watermelon will only be available for a short time, with only 3,800 sold in Sapporo, Hokkaido, until the end of August.
Suntory’s makers describe the product as being ‘characterised by a strong sweetness with a slight acidity that makes it look lemony’.
‘Juicy, white-fleshed watermelon is a delicious flavor you’ll never tire of enjoying.
Cutting and cooling well before eating will increase the balance of sour and sweet.
‘A perfect reward dessert for hot summers with refreshing acidity.’
Suntory’s unique new product was grown across five farms in the city of Furano – an area renowned throughout Japan for producing watermelons.
It is not clear exactly how farmers were able to produce lemon melons, but more commonly, hybrids of the crop were created using techniques such as cross-pollination.
It basically refers to the process of transferring pollen from one flower to the reproductive part of another flower.
Farmers thus have the ability to tailor crop traits, including color and pest resistance qualities.
The makers describe it as ‘deeply sweet’ with a hint of lemon acidity
HBCNews filmed a number of customers tasting lemon watermelon for the first time as it hit the Japanese market.
One told the publication: ‘It’s really refreshing. I like it.’
Another added: ‘It has a good balance of sweet and sour. This would be the perfect fruit for a hot day. Can I have another try?’
MailOnline has contacted Suntory for more information.
The Japanese creation comes just a year after white strawberries hit the UK at M&S supermarkets.
A Japanese creation just a year after the white strawberry hit M&S supermarkets
Although not an entirely new fruit, these ‘pearl strawberries’ were also created in Japan when seeds from the country’s white berry were crossed with a traditional form of the fruit.
In 2013, cotton candy grapes also hit stores in the United States for the first time, as The Grapery combined the two species through hand pollination.
Horticulturist David Cain wanted to bring back the flavor of grapes that he claimed had been stripped away by breeding fruit to withstand decades of shipping and storage.
‘A lot of fruit is tasteless by the time someone buys it,’ said Mr Cain. ‘We want to change that.’
Read more: Nutritionist reveals what annoying strings of a banana actually do – and why you might want to eat them next time
Bananas are a tasty, compact and healthy food rich in vitamins and antioxidants and potassium.
But according to the NHS many lovers of one in five fruits a day, ‘stringy bits’ of flesh are revealed when you peel one.
There are even rumors that these pesky additives are bad for your health, but an expert has debunked such myths – insisting that they’re actually packed with goodness.
That admittedly annoying, awkward, dangling string is known as a phloem bundle, Healthway explains—and the next time you peel a banana, you might want to consider eating it.
The flat strings found between the peel and flesh are called phloem bundles and contain additional nutrients (stock image).