If I were to take a bite out of a Japanese peach and one from a US farmer’s market, my guess is it would be hard to taste a difference. That’s never going to happen, though, because you don’t bag a random peach at a supermarket, take it home, and bite into it. Rather, your peach comes lovingly cocooned in its own styrofoam case, painstakingly peeled and cut by your host mom (or wifey, where applicable), and presented with a bowl and fork perfectly sized for the fruit.
I wrote about luxury fruit in Japan before, but I think I missed something- fruit here is about an experience more than a food, and the experience is pretty darn tasty. It’s just a peach at its core, but on the inside, an Apple computer isn’t too different from a Dell. It’s the experiences we have with products, from the purchase to the packaging to the consumption, that define our relationships with brands.