Seiji Nakazawa discovers that grapes have come a long way in the past 30 years.

We here at SoraNews24 can claim to have eaten a whole bunch of strange and unusual food over the years. Custard pudding and fermented soy beans? Check. Ice cream and avocado and tomato? Been there, eaten that. Alien octopus eggs? Pfft. Child’s play.

With such an impressive culinary resume under our belts, you might well assume that there aren’t that many foods left on Earth that we haven’t consumed, and for the most part you’d be right… with the exception of one Seiji Nakazawa, who recently discovered he was in the minority when it came to having never eaten a certain fruit.

You see, despite being at almost every single supermarket across Japan, Seiji has never tried Shine Muscats.

The Shine Muscat is a kind of grape that was first developed in Japan back in 1988, and is hugely popular. You’d be hard pressed to find a single person in Japan who hasn’t tried some Shine Muscats, but Seiji just so happens to be one of those people. 

He’s eaten your regular run-of-the-mill grapes, sure; in fact, grapes were a staple part of breakfasts during summer when he was a kid. But Seiji always used to find eating breakfast a pain, and considering that peeling and deseeding grapes is standard practice in Japan, grapes were always particularly inconvenient for him. While other grapes can be eaten with the skin still attached, one of Japan’s most popular and well-known grapes, the Kyoho, has a bitter skin that is peeled and discarded. 

Fast-forward to 2022 and while Seiji is more open to the idea of eating breakfast, he’s still averse to the idea of grapes. Who has time to sit and peel the skin these days? Plus, there’s the added hassle of having to spit out the seeds if you leave them in…. no. Grapes are simply too much hassle to properly enjoy. To this day Seiji has never bought a single packet of grapes in his adult life, let alone the popular Shine Muscat grapes.

Upon hearing this, his fellow reporter P.K. Sanjun almost fell out of his chair in shock. “You’ve never eaten Shine Muscats?!” he exclaimed. “Unbelievable!” And sure enough, a quick survey around the office found that Seiji was the only person present who had never tried one.

Seiji was shocked. “I don’t know why they’re so popular; they’re just grapes, after all…” he thought, as he took himself to his nearest supermarket. As an expert gourmet writer, it was time to push past the fact that he found grapes irritating and get down to the bottom of why they were so popular. He’d probably need to schedule some time in his day just to peel off all the skin…

… wait…

According to the Shine Muscat sign, which referred to them as ‘miracle grapes’, you don’t need to peel the skin at all — you can eat the grape whole! 

Even though the sign said so, Seiji simply couldn’t believe it. Surely there was no such grape that you could eat with the skin still on? That’d be like eating a banana without peeling it, or an orange with the peel still on! It was simply inconceivable to Seiji!

There was only one way to find out if this miracle grape really did have edible skin, so he bought a punnet and took them home. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, popped a grape in his mouth, bit down and waited for the wave of bitterness to hit his taste buds.

Except… it never came, and instead Seiji witnessed what felt like a sweet, delicious grape bomb explode in his mouth as his teeth pierced the skin. What was this magic?!

He found himself unconsciously reaching for another delicious grape to pop into his mouth, and another, and another… and it wasn’t until he was about halfway through his bunch of grapes that he noticed something quite strange.

The skin was crisp, sure, but as Seiji thought back to his childhood days where, in a hurry to finish breakfast and get on with his day he’d thrown a couple of unpeeled grapes in his mouth, that feeling was missing. That familiar feeling of chomping down on something small, round and hard in the middle of the grape… was completely absent from these Shine Muscats.

They were seedless!

Has grape technology advanced so much these past thirty years?! Has Seiji spent so much time eating new and exotic food that he’s neglected to pay attention to how normal food tastes these days? Either way, his aversion to grapes has been well and truly vanquished, and the idea of eating them doesn’t fill him with dread anymore.

Since he doesn’t need to spend so much time peeling grape skins anymore, what will Seiji do with this abundance of free time? We’d like to see him work on improving his cosplay skills, but who knows what he’ll do next?

Photos © SoraNews24
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