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It's an odd juxtaposition: the country we so often equate with pared-down, artfully restrained minimalism is the same one responsible for utterly whackadoo, outlandish items like canned bread and robotic cockroaches. The latest Japanese-designed curiosity to come across our radar: oranges grown in the shape of pentagons.  

It's an odd juxtaposition: the country we so often equate with pared-down, artfully restrained minimalism is the same one responsible for utterly whackadoo, outlandish items like canned bread and robotic cockroaches. The latest Japanese-designed curiosity to come across our radar: oranges grown in the shape of pentagons.  

The five-sided fruits derive from the Ehime prefecture, where Japanese farmers typically cross-breed mandarins with oranges to yield "iyokan," also known as a "Japanese Summer Orange." To achieve the angular forms, the oranges are simply grown in pentagaon-shaped boxes — no crazy genetic modifications necessary.

According to the Japanese news outlet Pouch, right now there are only about 300 penta-oranges available, rendering them a highly valued commodity. Not that there was anything wrong with round oranges, but the very possibility of fruit taking on an entirely new shape brings to mind all the countless recipes and dishes they might inspire, especially by chefs who focus on artful plating. Let's see which U.S. chef first gets his or her hands on some…

The oranges took years to generate, but required relatively lo-tech production methods—cardboard boxes and meticulous tending.

Right now there are only about 300 penta-oranges available. But that number will grow.