Sunday, April 11, 2010

‘Its fruit Jim, but not as we know it’

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So the sun is finally shining here in Ireland and the plant growth, more than a month behind is finally bursting into life. All this good weather means I have very little time for my blog at the moment, so this weeks post is a quick one.

Here is some strange looking fruit I came across on the internet recently.

These Buddha shaped pears are the creation of Gao Xianzhang.

Gao has been working on his pear-growing technique for six years and this season he managed to grow 10,000 Buddha-shaped baby pears. Each fruit is grown in an intricate Buddha mould and ends up looking like a juicy figurine. The ingenious farmer says the locals in his home village of Hexia, northern China, have been buying his Buddha pears as soon as he picks them from the trees. Most of them think they are cute and that they bring good luck.

Their success in China has convinced Gao to start exporting them into Europe.

Another strangely shaped fruit I came across are these watermelons from the southern Japanese town of Zentsuji.

However this one is not a fad. The technique actually has practical applications.

"The reason they're doing this in Japan is because of lack of space," said Samantha Winters of the National Watermelon Promotion Board in Orlando, Florida.

A fat, round watermelon can take up a lot of room in a refrigerator, and the usually round fruit often sits awkwardly on refrigerator shelves. But clever Japanese farmers have solved this dilemma by forcing their watermelons to grow into a square shape.

Farmers insert the melons into square, tempered glass cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine.

The square boxes are the exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, allowing full-grown watermelons to fit conveniently and precisely onto refrigerator shelves.*



  1. Wow! how fun and cool. This gives new meaning to "control"

  2. Hehe that is really cool, hm I wonder how I could make a such a mould myself?

  3. I have to say, I'm all for fruits in their natural form, but wow. The Budda-shaped pears are remarkable...and the square, space-saving watermelons, positively genius! What an interesting post!

  4. Amazing! Those pears are pretty cool, but I've seen those square watermelons before, and I have to ask, "Why?" Yeah, I know they stack better, but really, Why? I like that Star Trek reference!

  5. All I can say is OMG I want a Buddha pear! Actually, a pair of Buddha pears! Thanks for sharing!

  6. The pears are so amazing! And square watermelons. They would stack easier.
    Fun posting.

  7. Well, I must admit the Buddha pears are fun, but I'd only want one if that. I still love the shape of natural pears. And although the square watermelon is practical, I wonder about the slices. Would they look a bit wrong somehow? Or would you cube them?

  8. Aw, I love the sight of the pear-Buddhas growing on the tree -- even though I (and I suspect even the Buddha himself might) prefer the natural shape.

    But a message for the silly Japanese: watermelons are not meant to be sitting in the refrigerator You are supposed to go out and pick them from the field, just at dusk, and slice them open right out there in the front yard after dinner, and share hunks out with all the family and have seed-spitting contests. What would be the point in it sitting in a fridge? (Only slightly kidding. ;)

  9. Is it really necessary? Square watermelons, really? But the buddha pears are really cool. But I can't help but think - what next/

  10. Well OK then. And you are right . It's not fruit as I know it. jim

  11. This is amazing! Very ingenious!

  12. The watermelon might be easier to cut, and definitely would be easier to cube too!
    Plus they look so cute :)

  13. Wow Sunny, these are things I could never have imagined! At first glance I thought the square watermelons must have been some new GM strain!

  14. Hi I have seen that watermelon before. But it is 13000yen over.(about $150) too expensive.
    And have you ever seen heart shaped watermelon?
    There are heart and pyramid shaped watermelon in Japan.
    But I don't want them though. ;-)

  15. Amazing ... those pears are just fantastic. I'm not sure where I'd start eating it though!!! Definitely not the Buddah behind first,

    I just the ingeniousness of the Japanese in developing the square watermelon ... it's just too incredible!

    Great post.

  16. Those Buddha pears are amazing! those would be great for garden picnic party.

  17. It took a minute to place that quote, but of course nearly anything with Jim in it would be Star Trek. Love it! The fruit is odd, but this guy is a very smart marketeer! The square watermelons are also smart, no rolling around. :-)

  18. I enjoyed your interesting post. I have never heard or seen anything like that before...:)

  19. You post some of the most interesting stuff!

  20. Unbelievable! i want a buddha pear! of course I wouldn't dare eat it....then it would rot and I would feel terrible....hmmm..

  21. Great site Sunny.
    I have not yet started a Blogroll on my Blog but when I do your's is on my list.

    Now, the Buddha !
    I did not expect it to be from China. I saw a Japanese "Jizo bodhisattva", child Buddha (for info and links see ).
    In Japan the Jizo is part of a long history.