For years consumers struggled to fit the large round fruit in their refrigerators. And then there was the problem of trying to cut the fruit when it kept rolling around. But 20 years ago a forward-thinking farmer on Japan’s south-western island of Shikoku solved the problem. Farmers grew the melons in glass boxes and the fruit then naturally assumed the same shape. Today the cuboid watermelons are hand-picked and shipped all over Japan.
The farmer, from Zentsuji in Kagawa prefecture, came up with the idea of making a cube-shaped watermelon which could easily be packed and stored. The only other known square watermelon production in the Americas is in Brazil and California.�The fruit, on sale in a selection of department stores and upmarket supermarkets, appeals mainly to the wealthy and fashion-conscious of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan’s two major cities, given the $75-85 dollar price tag for the square version.