Seriously, though (if we can use that word when talking about fruits sold by the benjamin), I think these are gifts for special occasions. Plus they do look delicious...
These are called matsutake (pine mushrooms). Apparently they're rare in Japan, so many are imported. I found it interesting how the prices greatly differed depending on the country of origin. I give you, the United Shrooms of Matsutake:
|The matsutake from China were the cheapest.|
|Canadian imports were slightly more expensive.|
|Koreans must know their shrooms, since the price of these is nearly double the others.|
|Then we get to the Japanese matsutakes - boom! $450 smackers for your culinary pleasure.|
|These shoppers were also amused by the prices. I love the way the younger lady points out the price tag while the older lady laughs. Magnifique!|
Over the last 20 years, many consumer goods have gone down in price with persistent deflation and cheap imports. But wages haven't gone anywhere either (except down, in many fields). Still, if you've got the dosh and are jonesin for that perfect matsutake stir fry (they do look delicious!), life in Japan is all about the yenjamins!