As anyone who has experienced the wonders of a box of McNuggets will tell you, spending loads of dollar doesn’t necessarily make food better. There are plenty of cheap, tasty things that won’t make your eyes water when you get the bill. That being said, there are always exceptions. Some foods are so rare and highly prized that people all over the world are prepared to pay whatever it takes to get them on the table. Money may not be able to buy you love but it can definitely get you something delicious. Here are the eight most expensive ingredients on earth.
1. Almas Caviar
Caviar is a by-word for luxury, so it should come as little surprise to learn that it is one of the world’s most expensive foods. Though all caviar is pretty pricey, the most expensive is Iranian “Almas” - made from the eggs of a rare albino beluga sturgeon from the southern Caspian Sea. It regularly sells for £20,000 or more for a 1kg tub.
2. Ayam Cemani
Given the billions of them that die on the chopping block ever year for our pleasure, it might surprising that a chicken could be one of the priciest foods. With jet black feathers, flesh and organs, ayam cemani are an Indonesian breed rumoured to have magic powers. Perhaps this explains why they cost around $2500 per chicken.
3. Kobe Beef
“Wagyu” might be bandied about more and more these days, but there’s a big difference between your $25 “wagyu burger” and the real deal. Kobe is the highest grade of wagyu beef available and is almost impossible to get outside Japan. Only around 3000 cattle are certified “kobe” every year, which explains why it costs around $55 per ounce.
4. Kopi Luwak
Normally, if your food has been near poo, you might expect to get a discount. With Kopi Luwak, if anything the opposite is true. Using beans extracted from the excretion of the palm civet, this coffee has a uniquely smooth taste and flavour, which in turn means that a small bag of beans will cost around $600.
The world’s most expensive cheese isn’t made by a gold plated cow or matured for 400 years in a French cellar. It is, in fact, made by donkeys. Produced in Serbia, “pule” is so pricey because milking donkeys is an incredibly tricky task. As a result, the cheese sells for around €1000 per kilo.
It might look like a thread from a particularly vile maroon sweater, but saffron is one of the most sought after foods on the planet. Worth more than its weight in gold, the real reason that saffron can justify its extortionate price tag is its tedious procurement process, which involves carefully taking apart thousands of crocus flowers by hand in order to produce a single gram.
7. White Truffles
They might look like a metastasising tumour, but truffles are the feather in the cap of almost every fancy restaurant on earth. Almost impossible to cultivate, Italian white truffles are the most expensive variety, regularly selling for around $3600 per pound.
8. Yubari King Melons
Under ordinary circumstances, the idea of a melon costing as much as a deposit for a small flat would seem ridiculous. However, these are not normal melons. A carefully bred cross between two exceptionally rare types of cantaloupe, Japanese Yubari Kings are prized for their sweet flavour and perfectly smooth rind, and for the fact that they always come as a pair. The most expensive ever were sold at auction for $26,000.
We all like to indulge in a little luxury every now and again. However, with price tags this enormous, it might be tricky to justify anything on this list. If you find yourself with $25,000 of melon money, you probably have too much.