Most expensive food ingredients in the world Part I

most expensive ingredients in the world

After last month’s article about weird and wonderful foods around the world, we’ve been bitten by the ‘listicle’ bug and thought it might be interesting to find out what the world’s most expensive foods are.

For this list we are only including food ingredients, not ‘the most expensive pizza in the world’ or ‘the most expensive hamburger in the world’, since these are mainly put together using the ingredients listed here! Plus in most cases you’d have to travel to New York or Las Vegas (to name just two) to actually eat these delicacies. We’ve included some links to sites detailing these dishes below.

What’s also interesting is how many foods actually appear on both lists. So if you’re looking to compile a bucket list of all of the exotic and expensive foods to try before you die, then you’ve come to the right place. And you’ll be pleased to know that the highly toxic blowfish (fugu) is in fact not on this list (it’s on the other one).

It might be a bit of a long bow, but there is also a connection between this list and a new product we will be launching soon which may help people who are buying expensive ingredients – scroll down to find out more.

As there are 30 foods that have made the list, we’ve split it into two – listed in ascending order of price, with Part II to publish next time. So without further ado, here is the first part of (what we believe to be) the most comprehensive list of all the world’s most expensive ingredients. Unfortunately you can’t get them all from Woolies.

1 Vanilla
Price $122 per Kg
The price is dictated by the fact that the flower blooms for a very short period and harvesting is very labour intensive. See also saffron below.

2 Foie gras
Price $122 per Kg
Foie gras is a type of pate made from goose or duck liver. It is from France and apparently dates back 4,000 years. Some countries prohibit the sale or production of foie gras as it involves the force feeding of the animal to fatten up the liver.

3 Wagyu beef/Kobe beef
Price $268 per Kg (Japanese sourced)
Wagyu beef (also known as Kobe beef) is named after the breed of cattle raised in the Hyogo region in Japan. They are raised in a stress-free environment which gives the meat a marbled effect and a juicy tenderness.

4 Jamon Iberico de Bellota
Price $434 per Kg
If you like leg of ham, then this should be top of your list. It is made in Spain and Portugal from free range pigs which eat only acorns and roots. The ham is cured for 6 years.

5 Matcha green tea
Price $685 per Kg
Drunk by Samurai warriors, perhaps because it’s good for a sustained boost of energy due to its caffeine content which releases over a longer period than caffeine from a cup of coffee.

6 Kopi luwak
Price $268-$774 per Kg
Not technically a food, this is a type of coffee bean, which also made the last list, due to how it is ‘made’. Also known as civet coffee, the coffee beans pass through the gut of the animal when eaten and apparently produce a less bitter cup of coffee.

7 Moose milk cheese
Price $1,188 per Kg
Comes in three different types – a feta type, a blue cheese and a rind type. Produced by just three moose in Sweden.

8 Golden tigerfish
Price $1,741 per Kg
This fish lives off the coast of China and is mainly eaten there. One changed hands in 2007 for $83,000 – it was 48 Kg and 1.8m long.

9 Balsamic vinegar
Price $1,890 per litre (for 25 year old Modena-sourced)
Made from the rare Trebbiano grape in Modena in Italy (where Maseratis and Ferraris come from – no wonder it’s expensive). The grapes are left to dry for 10-25 years. You can get a 500ml bottle of the regular stuff from the supermarket for $5.

10 Matsutake mushrooms
Price $2,438 per Kg
Up until quite recently these mushrooms were a more normal price, but they have become increasingly rare and may become extinct, hence the price hike.

11 Saffron
Price $1,300-$7,500 per Kg
Also known as ‘red gold’ saffron is a rich yellow colour and is often added (in sparing amounts) to rice. It’s expensive because the flower it comes from – a crocus – only flowers for a week and all the saffron must be collected by hand then. Plus it takes 300,000 flowers to produce just 1 Kg of saffron.

12 Bluefin tuna
Price $9,753 per Kg
Much prized in Japan. In January a Japanese sushi business owner paid $3.4m for a giant (278kg) bluefin tuna at the first 2019 auction.

13 Gold leaf
Price $36,576 per Kg
Edible gold leaf is of course safe to eat, and is used mainly in desserts. It doesn’t really taste of anything. Used in very small quantities it’s actually not that expensive. Not generally used in eating contests.

14 Almas (white pearl albino) caviar
Price $38,169 per Kg
Caviar is pretty expensive – white pearl albino or ‘Almas’ caviar is the most expensive, as it is the roe from the rare albino beluga sturgeon found only in the Caspian and Black Seas. The price above is based on the Guinness World record for white caviar from a 100 year old sturgeon. Regular caviar is around $3,800 per Kg.

15 White alba truffles
Price $243,395 per Kg
Truffles (pictured above) are a type of fungus that grow at the base of trees. White Alba truffles are from Piedmont in Italy and are found by specially trained pigs or dogs and are much rarer than other kinds. They cannot be cultivated, hence the price. The price above is based on how much a casino boss paid for a 1.5Kg one back in 2007. If you shop around you’d probably get one for less.

And the connection to one of our upcoming new products? If you have just bought yourself a leg of Jamon Iberico de Bellota ham or some bluefin tuna, you’ll want to make sure you give everyone a slice of equal thickness.

Short of buying a butcher’s slicer, it’ll be hard with a regular knife… introducing the Baourouge slicing knife (pictured), which is equipped with a special guide to make sure that all your slices – of ham or tuna, or of beef or even bread – are all the same thickness. Perfect for people who have exquisite taste in food, but also want to be conspicuously fair! More details soon.

By the way, if our pricing is out on any of these foods (either way) – let us know and we’ll update the list. See Part II here.

More Information
The world’s most expensive foods
Top 10 unbelievably expensive food items in the world
15 of the world’s most expensive foods

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