Some say it is better to spend money on experiences than worldly possessions. These people are definitely connoisseurs of great food.
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Although we firmly believe you don’t need a lot of money to eat well, some flavors come with a significant price tag. Some you can find in exclusive restaurants or hidden gem-kinda places, and some are relatively easy to purchase or try.
Regardless, you have to be prepared to spend some cash if you want to try these delicacies.
Below, we prepared a list of the most expensive foods in the world. On it, you will find a variety of flavors and ingredients, from meats to spices. Those with a sweet tooth will also find something tasty here.
The list is in no particular order, and you will find foods in a few different price ranges on it.
The wait is over – let’s travel the world together to find the most expensive food items!
Wagyu beef is our first stop. It’s a relatively known item among the most expensive foods. Wagyu beef gained its reputation from a very rigorous process of production, to which it owes an absolutely amazing flavor profile of the meat.
It originates from Japan, but you can find American variants as well. Traditionally, Wagyu beef is cut from four breeds of Japanese cow. These cows lead a very specific lifestyle, having a special diet and being carefully overseen in order to ensure the most exquisite flavor and texture of the meat.
The cows cost around $30,000 for one animal, which is why Japanese Wagyu steaks can reach a price of $120 to over $300.
Foie gras is defined as a duck or goose liver fattened by gavage.
It’s a delicacy that is getting less popular due to how the meat for this dish is being acquired.
In some countries and US states, like New York, it is illegal to produce it, as to get this meat, animals are force-fed corn to increase their fat content. This, for many reasons, is considered unethical, but still, France and Hungary are two of the biggest foie gras producers in Europe.
Foie gras has a very delicate flavor and can be served as a side dish to other meals, like steak. It comes with a hefty price tag of $90 – $110 per pound.
Caviar is a true synonym for luxury. One of the most expensive kinds of fish eggs is the Almas caviar. Why you may ask?
Well, this caviar comes from the Albino Beluga Sturgeon, a fish that lays its eggs once it reaches 60 to 100 years of age. This, of course, means that the species is rare, therefore, caviar is also in very limited quantities.
You will have to pay even more than $22,000 for 2 pounds of this product, but the nutty, creamy, unique taste of the caviar may be worth it.
Staying on the topic of seafood, the Fugu fish is a puffer fish that is mostly known for its deadly properties. It contains enough toxins in its skin, liver, and eyes to kill a man.
It’s a well-known rarity in Japan, and the preparation of this fish is conducted only by very skilled cooks who know how to remove the toxic parts of the animal without contaminating the rest of the meat. They have to go through three years of training to be able to do that.
Fugu fish is often served as sashimi and nabemono, traditional Japanese dishes, and it costs $135 for a pound.
Coffin Bay King Oysters
When we think of really luxurious food, it’s often the oysters that we have in mind. They are so popularized around the world nearly all major cities have them in their culinary offer.
We can still find oysters that are not overly expensive (although due to overfishing, it starts to change), but we will focus on the world’s most expensive kind, Coffin Bay King Oysters from Australia.
These oysters can cost $100 each… which is a lot! The good news is that this species is quite large, with some specimens being even 7 inches long. They have a sweet and distinguished flavor, with some characteristic oceanic saltiness, so these expensive oysters might be worth the sin.
Not many mushrooms can enjoy this level of fame and desirability as truffles do.
They have a very distinctive taste, with many earthy and nutty notes. Their high price tag is due to the fact of how hard they are to cultivate and extract. They usually grow in oak forests, only in a very specific climate.
To dig them from the ground, hunters use animals with a very acute sense of smell, such as dogs and pigs. Truffles must be gathered by hand, and it can take up to six years for the mushrooms to be ready for harvest.
Both white truffles and black truffles achieve staggering prices. For Burgundy Black Truffle, you might pay even $400 for a pound, while Italian White Truffle goes for more than $1500 a pound.
On the list of the most expensive food items, we couldn’t forget about Saffron.
Commonly known as”red gold,” Saffron is one of the few ingredients in the world that are more expensive than gold.
Its high price, again, has everything to do with how challenging it is to harvest Saffron. Crocus flowers that it comes from can be picked only for a short window of time in fall, and you have to get more or less about a football pitch amount of the plant to acquire 1 pound of the spice.
This obviously is reflected in its price, as Saffron costs up to $2,000 per pound.
Vanilla might be a surprising sight on the ranking of the most expensive foods, but those who are avid cooks know very well that this is the case.
Vanilla beans are mainly found and harvested in Madagascar – a country that, in recent years, has been frequently exposed to severe weather conditions like heavy rain and winds. This resulted in a decrease in the number of vanilla bean plants, which of course, makes them more expensive.
If you wish to use an authentic vanilla extract in your kitchen, you have to be prepared to spend $300 per pound for the extract. If that’s not an option for you, there are many artificial vanilla extracts on the market at much more budget-friendly prices.
If you’re interested in the most expensive seafood, Bluefin tuna from Japan takes the cake in this ranking.
This fish offers a salty and fresh flavor with a meaty texture, and its fat content is the highest among all tuna species we consume. Additionally, due to overfishing, the population of Bluefin tuna is decreasing.
When we add the fact that it’s expensive to import the fish to the United States, we end up with a price of $5,000 per pound. For this reason, Bluefin tuna is definitely justified to appear on the ranking of the most expensive food items in the world.
There are many people in the world who believe there’s nothing quite as good as quality honey. We have a lot of reasons to love this sweet treat, and those who are dedicated to trying all different kinds of honey may be interested in Manuka honey.
This edible gold comes from New Zealand and only from there. This means it’s in limited quantities, therefore, its price reaches $30 for a 250-gram jar. Due to its many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s one of the most valued types of honey available to purchase and, for sure, one of the rarest in the world.
Kopi Luwak Coffee
We didn’t forget about the coffee lovers – the true drink of the gods. Although the majority of us enjoy the taste of the average-quality coffee available in supermarkets or online, if you have enough cash, you can reach the new territories of flavors with the most expensive coffee in the world – Kopi Luwak coffee.
Coffee beans used to brew this coffee come from Indonesia and the Philippines. These coffee beans first go through the process of fermentation in the Asian palm civet’s digestive system, and after being defecated, they are collected by the farmers.
This process gives them their unique flavor profile, and although the civet coffee is not widely enjoyed (some call it thin and rather unpleasant in taste), its prices still reach $100 to $600 for a pound.
Ayam Cemani Black Chicken
Ayam Cemani is a chicken breed known for its characteristic black color. These chickens are bred in Indonesia and are extremely rare, hence the high price.
What sets them apart from the rest of the poultry is the fact that not only their feathers and skin is black, but their meat and bones are also that color. But in flavor, they are very similar to regular chicken, so how they end up tasting on your plate depends very much on the cook’s skills.
Still, you would have to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 for one animal. If you’re interested in buying hatching eggs, these go for around $50 each.
Those of you who absolutely love cheese will be happy to know that we have something in store for you as well.
Moose cheese is one of the most expensive cheeses in the world. It’s produced at the Moose House Farm in Sweden. To make it, farmers collect up to 1.3 gallons of milk from each animal a day.
The process of milking Moses is a complex one, as these animals need special conditions to be milked, which means it usually takes much longer (even a few hours) to accomplish this task than in the case of more common farm animals, like cows.
There are a few cheese varieties, like blue, feta, and a rind style. Moose cheese has a smooth, creamy texture and unique, softer flavor, so the price tag of $500 per pound seems justified.
Yubari King Melons
We’re closing our list of the most expensive food items with… melons!
Not with just any melons, of course, but Yubari King Melons, created from two other cantaloupe varieties: Earl’s Favourite and Burpee’s “Spicy” Cantaloupe. They are known for their very sweet flavor and are often exchanged as gifts in Japan, which seems fitting considering their price.
One Yubari King Melon reached the price of $13,000 at an auction, while most customers can purchase this fruit for a humble price of $200. These expensive fruits are a truly prized gift not only in Japan.
Most Expensive Food Around the World
As you can see, expensive foods come to us from various corners of the world, but one thing links them all – their hard-to-overlook price.
But, once in a while, it’s good to allow ourselves to experience some luxury, and what is better than white truffle butter, the finest caviar, or wagyu beef? These are the experiences worth living for!
If you want to learn more about foreign delicacies, we invite you to visit our International Food section. You can also find many valuable recipes on our site, perfect for beginners as well as more experienced cooks.
And remember – you don’t have to rob the bank to eat exceptional things. Sometimes is just a matter of imagination.