File this under things you can only find in Japan: Hello Kitty-branded melons.
Cantaloupes imprinted with the face of the popular Sanrio character are currently being grown in Furano, Hokkaido, one of Japan’s best regions for growing the fruit, according to Rocket News 24 The Hello Kitty Furano melons weigh about four pounds, and with only 300 being sold, they will be priced at 5,500 yen, or just over $50.
The process of branding the character’s face onto the cantaloupe is fairly simple. About a month before the melons are set to be harvested, the image is etched into their rinds. Within the next few weeks, as they continue to grow, the hollow indentations left behind from the carving are filled with the melons’ natural netting, leaving an image of Hello Kitty’s face that looks as if it grew organically. This particular batch of cantaloupes is set to be harvested in July.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that Japan has grown Hello Kitty-branded melons. Hello Kitty Hell, a blog devoted to the character, was first alerted to their existence in 2010. It was also noticed by Kotaku in 2013, and then in 2014 Rocket News 24 reported that they were again being grown to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary.