Foodies, while a vada pav costing ₹10 or a wholesome South Indian thali priced at ₹30 are simply lip-smacking, wealthy foodies across the world are spending outrageous amounts of money on food for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences. And no, they aren’t adorned with 24-karat gold leaves. Then what makes these foods so expensive that only millionaires can afford to eat them? Well, we are here to answer your queries. Here are 10 costliest food items in the world that only the Richie Rich would bother to eat.
When you think of fancy expensive food, you’d immediately think of caviar. These are fish eggs known to be one of the world’s ultimate delicacies. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the most expensive caviar recorded is from a possibly 100-year-old albino beluga sturgeon. The white caviar is sold for around $34,500 (₹25 lakhs) per kilogram. This fish that produced this rare caviar lived in the Caspian Sea originally, but now they are almost extintc in their native environment.
2. Wagyu Beef
If you watch MasterChef Australia, you would certainly be familiar with wagyu beef. This simply translates to “Japanese Beef”. It comes from any four different breeds of Japanese cow. Wagyu beef is known for its intensely marbled fat that renders down during the cook process. The meat is moist, tender and melts in the mouth. The price point amounting to around ₹40,000 per kg is all down to the rearing process. The cows must be reared and fed according to strict guidelines to qualify for the Wagyu mark.
3. Matsutake Mushrooms
Just like Wagyu beef, Matsutake mushrooms also originates from Japan. This is a rare variety of mushrooms that have a unique sweet yet spicy flavour. It’s an acquired taste. Growing this mushroom is no easy feat and that’s the reason why it’s priced so high. The Matsutake mushroom is only harvested once a year and there’s always a fear of pinewood nematode worm destroying their entire habitat. This is the world’s most expensive mushroom fetching up to $600 (₹43,985)per kg.
4. Kopi Luwak
Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. So, coffee lovers, make note as this coffee is worth its weight in gold! Translating to civet coffee, it’s made from coffee beans that’s eaten, partly digested and defecated by the civet cat or Asian pam civet. It’s believed that the partly digested coffee beans is fermented in the animal’s stomach and enhances the flavour of the coffee. Bags of kopi luwak sell for up to $700 per kg.
Your favourite ice cream or dessert flavour, vanilla is surprisingly one of the most expensive foods in the world. But it’s the Madagascar vanilla pod with a vanillin content of 1 to 2 percent that takes the cake. Priced at up to $600 (₹43,985) per pound, this is also the world’s most labour intensive crop. On the one day that vanilla blooms, pollination must be done by hand. Storms in Madagascar are reducing the amount of vanilla beans on the market leading to skyrocketing prices.
When it comes to spices that cost a bomb, saffron leads the list. The labour intensive, Saffron crocus or Crocus sativa flowers are grown for only seven days a year during autumn. The flowers are then collected by hand and gently roasted to dry. Saffron is widely grown in Asia and the Mediterranean. This flavourful spice used in a wide variety of dishes exhuuberates a unique, sweet flavour that reminds you of royalty. Saffron costs over $500 (₹36,654) per ounce.
7. Ayam Cemani Black Chicken
Popularly known as the Goth chicken, Ayam Cemani Black chicken, is bred in Indonesia. This poultry has unique black skin, meat, bones and organs. It’s an extremely rare breed of chicken where one chick of this variety is priced over $200(₹14,661) in Indonesia. Outside Indonesia, the price can go up to thousands of dollars. Exports of Ayam Cemani Black chicken are banned due to a fear of bird flu.
8. Moose Cheese
Interestingly, cheese is one of the world’s most stolen food item. Exotic cheese is often auctioned at ridiculous prices. Moose cheese is one of the most expensive varieties of cheese in the world. It’s produced at Moose House Farm in Sweden. It’s prepared with 5 litres of milk produced by each moose everyday from May to September. Milk of only Gullan, Haelga, and Juno is used. The farm can only only sell around 300kg of cheese per year and it costs around $1074 (₹78,734 )per kilogram.
9. Iberian Ham
Iberian ham is devoured as a delicacy and touted to be the best ham in the world. It comes from the rear leg of black pigs, that are fed acorns, or bellota in Spanish. The ham derieves its flavour from oleic acid found in the acorns. This ham has a deep red colour and uniquely rich flavour. It’s matured from 24 to 36 months. You’d have to shell out upto $4,500(₹3,29,891) for a whole leg of the Iberian ham.
10. Black Watermelon
You’d have gorged on green watermelon,but what’s black watermelon? Well, it’s one of the most expensive food items in the world, that’s a distinctive fruit from Japan. Also known as Densuke Melon, this fruit has a crunchy taste. Grown in the island of Hokkaido, these watermelons need space and lots of tending to. Incae you’re wondering they are not black in colour but a dark shade of green that often appears black. Only 1,00,000 black watermelons are available each year and due to the scarcity they can fetch up to $6,000 (₹4,39,855)at auction. These black watermelons are a prized gift during special occasions like weddings in Japan. Apart from black watermelon, did you know a Karnataka darmer grew yellow watermelons?
So, these are some of the most expensive foods in the world, that will surely burn a hole in your pocket. If you’ve tried any of these foods, let us know in the comments below about your experience.