Why Are These 10 Foods Some Of The Most Expensive In The World?

Food is one of the most essential and universally loved aspects of life. While some people are content with basic meals, others are on the hunt for the most luxurious and expensive ingredients. From rare truffles to exotic fruits, there are some foods that come with a hefty price tag. In this article, we will explore the most expensive foods in the world, what makes them so special, and where to find them. From caviar to Wagyu beef, get ready to be introduced to a whole new world of high-end gastronomy.

1. Almas Caviar

What food is more synonymous with luxury than caviar? The pickled roe of sturgeon fish has been a delicacy for decades and with a price tag that keeps climbing and can sell for around Rs. 20,000 for 30 grams. This is due mostly to the fact that the albino beluga sturgeon – the fish from which caviar is harvested – has been overfished and is now critically endangered. There are many types of roe available including the orange Tobiko and Ikura which you often see on sushi and are relatively cheap. 

2. Kopi Luwak

Coffee lovers are usually a happy to shell out a little more for a great blend but would you try Kopi Luwak at Rs. 60,000 a kilogram? Civet coffee is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and then partially digested by the Asian Palm Civet Cat. Though it sounds unpleasant people believe that this partial fermentation enhances the flavour of the coffee and gives it enhanced health benefits. To each their own right.

3. White Truffles

If you’ve read a menu in the last ten years and seen a dozen or more truffle dishes you might be questioning whether truffles belong on this list. Though truffle extract and synthetic truffle flavouring has certainly become common, the White Truffle is still a rare delicacy. Found only in the Piedmont region of Italy they only grow around the roots of certain trees and have a unique scent and aroma that cannot be made artificially. The most anyone’s ever paid is 1.66 Cr for approximately 1.5 kilograms.

4. Foie Gras

Though this dish is declining in popularity for the inhumane process behind it, it’s still a coveted item. A pate made from duck or goose liver that has been forcefully fattened on rich food to ten times its size, this buttery, rich spread comes with a price beyond money. The practice goes back to 2500 BC when Egyptians discovered that birds could be fattened and feed more people through overfeeding. 

5. Wagyu Beef 

The term Wagyu simply means 'Japanese Beef,' and it can come from any one of four breeds of Japanese cow. Fat is intensely marbled into the meat, which renders down during cooking to make the meat tender, moist, and melt-in-your-mouth. Some fans describe it as falling apart like a soft piece of fish. For Wagyu products to qualify for the high price point, cows have to be raised and fed with strict guidelines, with calves given special feed to ensure the fatty marbling. One of the most famous types of Wagyu is Kobe Beef which can cost around Rs. 50,000 a kilo.

6. Absheron Saffron 

In India saffron is a common ingredient but chances are that the ones we use on a day to day basis are not of the highest quality. True saffron is made from the stigmas of the Saffron Crocus which only flowers once a year. Each flower has only  three stigma which means it takes between 60,000 and 75,000 flowers to collect just 1 kilo of saffron. The golden yellow and subtle flavour and much loved and people are still willing to pay around 3 lakhs for the highest grade saffron.

7. The Matsutake Mushroom

This Japanese mushroom is charaterised by a well-formeed cap, short stem and distinctive gills on the underside. It has a slight fruity flavour and is prized for its unique taste. It can typically be found under red pines in the Tamba region of Japan but its native forests have been deteriorated by insects. Artificial cultivation has not been successful so as these mushrooms become more rare the price tag goes up to around 1.5 lakhs per kilo.

8. Fugu

With great danger comes a great big price tag. At least in the case of Fugu. Also known as Pufferfish, their meat is highly prized, especially in Japan for making sushi. The spines of the fish contain a poison and if not prepared correctly one bit can be fatal. Chefs even need a legal license to cook it. The reward seems to outweigh the risk however and people regularly pay over Rs. 50,000 for this fish.

9. Iberico Ham

Ham again is a fairly commonly found ingredients but Iberico Ham from Spain and Portugal is a rare delicacy. Free range black Iberico pigs are fed on a diet of acorns their whole life to produce a distinct flavour. The ham itself is also cured for at least 3 years before it’s allowed to be sold and this lengthy and specific process is closely monitored at each step. This all adds up to a price of around 3 lakhs for one leg of ham.

10. Yubari Melons

It seems strange that fruit which historically can be grown wild is one of the most expensive items around but these melons are exclusively cultivated in volcanic ash soil in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan and are treasured for their unique flavour. Sweet and perfectly round and smooth Yubari Melons are harvested by hand with scissors and come in 4 grades of purity and can be rejected if they don’t meet the criteria.