Luxury fruit: are you buying it?

I enjoy buying quality ingredients to cook and bake with, reasoning that a splurge on a lovely steak or locally grown, perfectly ripe peach is no more expensive than a mediocre meal in a restaurant. That said, there are some food items that I just cannot fathom buying regardless of my curiosity, usually because of their exorbitant price. I’m talking about things like steak from Salt Bae or civet coffee. The latest item on my ‘thanks, but no thanks’ list is a $400 USD pineapple created by Fresh Del Monte and sold by Melissa’s Produce.

The luxury fruit is called the Rubyglow, and the red exterior is eye-catching. Unlike its cousin the Pinkglow pineapple, which features a pink interior, the flesh of the Rubyglow is the traditional yellow. However, the flavor is sweeter and less acidic than a regular cultivar, according to the product description on the Melissa’s website. I tried a Pinkglow recently (priced at a more modest $10 USD), and I was underwhelmed. The pink hue is lovely but the flavor was merely pineapple adjacent. The acidity drives the flavor and the Pinkglow, which is also touted as being more mellow than a traditional pineapple, lacked the punch of its common counterpart.

Of course, most people willing to shell out that kind of money for a single piece of fruit are less interested in what it tastes like than its worth as a conversation piece or a badge of affluence. Consumers have long purchased costly items for ostentatious display, and food is no exception. A $400 pineapple, while an unreasonable expense for most of us, is not as ridiculous as some other luxury items. If it pleases you and you can afford it, then I say go for it. I’ll be happy to try a piece if you are footing the bill.

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  • ccav  on  May 22, 2024

    No thanks! It’s amazing there is enough of a market for a $400 pineapple.

  • janecooksamiracle  on  May 22, 2024

    Seems we’ve gone back a few hundred years. When the pineapple first reached Europe it was only the very rich and royalty who could afford it.
    Wasn’t eaten but used as a table decoration 😀

  • FuzzyChef  on  May 22, 2024

    Yeah, back in the 19th century middle class folks would rent pineapples.

  • lkgrover  on  May 22, 2024

    I thought I was being extravagant for buying a dragonfruit for $7 a few years ago, because I was curious to taste it. If I spend several hundred dollars on something, I expect it to last for years so food doesn’t qualify. But I would be delighted to taste a Rubyglow pineapple, if someone invites me to a dinner party!

  • Jenny  on  May 22, 2024

    For 400.00, that pineapple better show me a great time including dinner and drinks, and then make me breakfast in the morning.

  • Indio32  on  May 23, 2024

    Not quite sure why this is an issue…. people quite happily pay a 1000% markup for an item of Le Creuset over a standard cast iron casserole dish or similar for a Japanese knife over a mass produced Chinese made one. It’s all about where you place your value…. for avoidance of doubt I won’t be purchasing any $400 Mellons!

  • rosajane8  on  May 23, 2024

    I actually love Pinkglow!!! So much better than the regular pineapple. The one item I have splurged on is Sumo Citrus. So sad citrus season is over and they are gone for now 😢

  • TeresaRenee  on  May 23, 2024

    My grocery buying is all over the place. I’ll scrimp on tomato paste and buy the cheapest one available to save myself $0.10 and then I’ll buy the $5 canned Italian tomatoes instead of the $1.50 regular tomatoes because they are “better”.

    I’d like to do a fruits-of-the-world tasting to try out the exotic fruits that keep appearing at my grocery store but I find fruit a bit of a gamble. Or maybe there’s a knack to fruit selection that I haven’t mastered. When I make apple pies, I buy 50% more apples than needed to compensate for the ones that aren’t usable. With my luck, I’d rationalize buying the $400 pineapple only to find that it was rotten inside.

  • mcvl  on  May 24, 2024

    I try new cultivars eagerly but am often saddened by them; so many breeders want to increase sweetness, decrease acidity and bitterness and singular tastes like funk and sulfur. I want flavor, not mawkish blandness.

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