There is an old Chinese myth about a magical fruit in the shape of Buddha which will give immortality if eaten.
Buddha shaped pears do not grow naturally, but a farmer in China named Hao Xianzhang has developed a way to grow pears in the shape of Buddha by putting the small unripe pear in a fiber glass mold. As the pear ripens it fills the mold and the mold is taken off to reveal a cute little Buddha shaped pear.
This Chinese farmer has spent six years perfecting his process of growing and shaping his pears, and sells them for about $8.00 for a single fruit. Hao says that his pears are in such high demand because they symbolize “good luck”, but there are some reports that they do not sell very well because customers find them too cute to eat.
Man has been manipulating fruits and vegetables since the dawn of agriculture with the initial goal to increase size and productivity. The bigger the fruit and higher the yield the more food you have, which is important when you have to grow everything you eat yourself. As agriculture got more efficient we started focusing on other things such as better taste and appearance. When we shop for produce at the grocery store we look for the fruit without a single blemish, and even if the ugly fruit may tastes better we choose the prettiest fruit because in our minds it looks like it will taste better.
This Chinese farmer has taken appearance to a whole new level, but Buddha shaped pears are not the only strange shaped fruit. There is a company found at www.fruitmould.com that specializes in making molds to make all kinds of things from square watermelons and stare shaped cucumbers, to pumpkins in the shape of a human skull.