From Russia to Italy to Japan, Musement takes a look at 12 of the most expensive foods in the world.
Every country has its own gastronomic treasures, some of which are sold for a small fortune. Musement unveils 12 of the most expensive foods from around the world whose rarity and flavor actually justify their exorbitant prices.
Originally from the Middle East and rightly nicknamed “red gold,” saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, with the retail price for one pound ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Its production requires plenty of patience and long hours of manual work to extract the small pistils from each crocus sativus, or “saffron crocus,” flower. To add some context, 150 flowers produce just one gram (.05 ounces) of dry saffron!
2. Kobe beef
One of Japan’s national treasures, Kobe meat of the Tajima breed is renowned as the world’s best. The increased marbling of the meat provides exceptional tenderness and enhances the beef’s flavor. And since all good things have a price, Kobe beef sells for nearly $100 per pound.
3. Almas caviar
The ultimate luxury food. But do you know what the world’s most expensive caviar comes from? “Almas” caviar (literally “diamond” in Russian) is also known as white caviar. The clearer it is, the better the quality. Its price, which can reach up to $18,000 per every two pounds, is justified by the scarcity of the fish that produce these particular eggs.
4. The white truffle of Alba
5. The Densuke watermelon
In Western culture, fruits are generally not considered luxurious. In Japan, on the other hand, given the shortage of arable land, fruit is scarce which causes its price to soar. The black watermelon of Densukeis is harvested in small quantities exclusively on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. One of these watermelons, weighing around 18 pounds, was sold for nearly $6,000.
6. The Yubari melon
Another Japanese fruit harvested on the island of Hokkaido, the Yubari melon is undoubtedly the most expensive melon in the world. Last year, two Yubari melons were sold for nearly $28,000.
7. The Matsutake mushroom
Matsutake, or the pine mushroom, also ranks among the most expensive foods in the world. Particularly rare and fragile, it grows in Oregon, Asia and Eastern Europe, and its price per pound can reach up to $1,000.
8. Knipschildt chocolate
The chocolate truffle madeleines (French butter cakes) crafted by the U.S.-based Danish chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt are real gems and as such, run the price of gems: $250 for one. Described as the most extravagant in the world, this chocolate consists of a Périgord truffle coated with Valrhona dark chocolate. At this price, you also get a beautiful silver box filled with sugar beads.
9. Edible gold
No surprise here: cosmetic gold is part of this list of the world’s most expensive foods, especially when you consider that it has no particularly interesting taste or nutritional quality, but is merely used for decorative purposes. The French lemonade maker Elixia has created a lemonade containing 24-carat gold flakes, and you can count on spending more than $15 per 25-ounce bottle.
The Fugu or globefish, known to be the most dangerous in the world because consumption can be fatal if not prepared properly, is also characterized by its price (around $200 per fish). There’s also no cure for its poison, so the dangers associated with its consumption and the thoroughness of the surgery-like preparation justify its price.
11. Acorn-fed Iberian ham
Jamón Iberico de Bellota, or acorn-fed Iberian Ham, is produced from pigs fed exclusively on acorns (bellota in Spanish), giving the meat a particularly nutty taste. Aged for at least three years, they sell for, on average, $100 a pound, or $1200-1400 for an entire bone-in ham.
12. The Pule
Produced from donkey’s milk on a small farm in Serbia, pule is the most expensive cheese in the world. Its price (as much as $1700 per pound) is explained by the fact that donkey milk is very difficult to produce. If a cow produces about eight gallons of milk per day, a donkey yields just 0.85 cups of daily and then has to be milked three times per day so as not to injure her udder. To top things off, to make just one pound, a little more than three gallons of donkey milk is necessary!