These new and “improved” five-sided oranges from Japan look weird, taste great and they won't roll off your table. Even more awesome, an alternate way of reading the kanji characters used to describe them makes these freaky fruits great good luck gifts for anxious students.
“Goukaku iyokan” means “five-sided iyokan” with “iyokan” being a certain type of orange-skinned citrus fruit. Someone at the Hizuchi Tachibana 4H Club in Japan's Ehime prefecture realized, however, that “goukaku iyokan” can also mean “to have a good feeling about passing” - same pronunciation, different spelling!
At this point, we imagine one club member looked at another and said “are you thinking what I'm thinking?” So it was that the concept of five-sided lucky oranges was born. The next step involved turning that dream into reality and in the words of Ned Ryerson, it was a doozy: it took three years of trial and error before the first angular fruits were ready for harvest.
The fruit-shaping technique is similar to that used to create heart-shaped cucumbers, baby-shaped pears and square watermelons, being that a mold placed around each immature fruit compels said fruit to conform to the mold's dimensions. The oddball oranges show off their pentagonal profile best when sliced, which is a lot less disturbing than cleaving an already creepy baby-shaped pear.
Due to the special attention accorded to each and every prospective pentagonal orange throughout its lifetime on the tree, expect the cost per fruit to be higher than your average, run-of-the-mill round citrus. It matters not: concerned and caring parents will snap up these lucky oranges faster than an examination monitor can say “put down your pencils!” (via Rocketnews24 and Pouch)