Blog Post

A History of Shaping Fruits

Shaping fruit is a centuries old practice.  While originated in China, contemporary fruit molding has been honed among Japanese farmers seeking a competitive advantage by making their watermelon cheaper to ship and store using a cube or square shape.  We buyers saw watermelon in the shape of a cube, the first sentiment was disbelief.  Once customers were shown that the watermelon were real, a new niche market of shaped watermelon that sell for several hundred dollars was born. Unlike in the West, watermelon play a unique role in Japanese culture.

square watermelon sorted

Japanese square watermelon being sorted by farmers prior to shipping.

Cubed watermelon on display in Japan with custom writing.  Every summer, Japanese citizens throughout the country and especially near the coast will participate in a game called Suikawari.  Similar to a pinata in Mexican culture, participants will try to break a watermelon open using a bat while blindfolded.  Watermelon rest at the center of this unique cultural event.



Farmers in Japan in awe over a watermelon being shaped into a cube.

Fruit molding or shaping isn’t exclusive to watermelon! Below a zucchini takes the shape of 20oz drink by inserting the growing fruit into a clear bottle. Very cool!

308149709-2 blossomspot


Using plaster molds, gourds are shaped into three dimensional portraits.  This method is often cited as the original for shaping fruit.  Gourds were shaped by Mr. Zhang Cairi as detailed in The Immortal Molded Gourds of Mr. Zhang Cairi. Learn more here!


A Mickey Mouse shaped pumpkin grown at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.


Big money premiums for Square Watermelon.


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