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Giant fruit bonanza sweeps Ho Chi Minh City ahead of Lunar New Year

Giant fruit bonanza sweeps Ho Chi Minh City ahead of Lunar New Year

Thursday, January 25, 2024, 12:11 GMT+7
Giant fruit bonanza sweeps Ho Chi Minh City ahead of Lunar New Year
A giant grapefruit weighs some eight kilograms. Photo: Vu Tin

Multiple varieties of oversized fruits are available for sale in Ho Chi Minh City to meet the demand for making ancestral worship offerings during the forthcoming Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, which is due in February.

Fruits like grapefruit and Buddha’s hands are commonly used as offerings and gifts in the southern region on Tet.

Ky Da Grapefruit, a big-sized type of pomelo, is three or four times heavier than regular ones. The extraordinary variety has thick bright yellow skin and features a fragrant scent.

A massive Ky Da grapefruit weighs up to 10 kilograms, carrying a price tag of over VND500,000 (US$20.3).

Despite its high prices, the fruit is favored by many residents in the southern metropolis.

Vu Tin, who has traded Ky Da grapefruit for six years, and owns a shop on Pham Van Bach Street in Tan Binh District, said that difficulties in transport and purchase make the fruit costly.

This grapefruit variety is mainly grown in mountainous areas in northern Vietnam.

Due to limited grapefruit cultivation, traders must come to farming households in the northern region to purchase the fruit and collect it in large amounts, as well as transport them to Ho Chi Minh City for the Tet holiday.

But transporting these large and heavy grapefruits poses logistical challenges.

To minimize the risk of stalks and leaves falling off, the grapefruits are divided into smaller volumes and transported by road.

Tin is purchasing 1,000 grapefruits for sale during this Tet holiday, down some 50 percent against last year.

He also urged residents to exercise caution when selecting fruits, as some traders may resort to harvesting unripe ones or collecting grapefruits that have fallen to the ground.

They attached fake stalks to these low-quality grapefruits before putting them on sale, he added.

Apart from Ky Da grapefruit, Buddha’s hand fruit is also a favorite on Tet.

The fruit, hailing from the northern region, is often placed on five-fruit trays during Vietnam’s biggest traditional holiday.

A Buddha’s hand fruit is priced from VND70,000 ($2.83) to VND100,000 ($4.05). However, the price of a massive fruit stands at VND300,000 ($12.1) or higher.

In preparation for the upcoming holiday, many fruit stores in Ho Chi Minh City have been importing larger-sized fruits, including cherries, to cater to the preferences of local residents.

Tasmanian cherries grown in Australia are flooding the southern market.

“To ensure both reasonable prices and comprehensive knowledge about the farming and harvesting processes, we have directly imported cherries from farmers in Australia,” said a representative of Kingfoodmart, a fruit store which sells cherries.

Cherries are stored in refrigerated containers and transported by air to Vietnam.

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Tieu Bac - Nhat Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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