Saturday, February 16, 2013

Grocery Games: Tattooed Apples

The latest installment of bizarre sights at the local grocery store: tattooed apples.

This set of Fuji apples with Chinese characters "tattooed" on them was on special sale this week...  one week after Chinese New Year and fewer people are willing to pay top dollar (top rupiah?) for a fancy gift box of apples with "good fortune," "prosperity," and "longevity" imprinted on them?

(Full disclosure: I have no idea what these symbols mean, but I would be willing to bet they are in that general theme, being for Chinese New Year and all...)

I had never seen tattooed apples before... or any tattooed fruit, for that matter.  But apparently it's a thing, currently in practice in Japan.  And it's pretty fascinating: the apples are put into bags while they're on still on the tree so they don't receive sunlight for 3 months and stay a light yellow color.  Then later the bag is removed, a stencil/sticker applied to the apple so that the design remains light-colored and the rest of the apple turns, well, apple-colored.  A little bit crazy, but kinda cool.  And apparently the technique has a history... apple tattooing used to happen in France, too, where they used snail slime to apply the stencils.  Whoa.


  1. Ok yes, this is weird. But you bought some, right?! The technique seems pretty labor intensive but probably chemical-free?

    1. Ha, not so much. It was like $27 for 6 apples, so we skipped it.

    2. And that was the sale price.


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