Ranked: Most Expensive Foods In The World

By Juliet S 8 months ago
Indulgence knows no bounds when it comes to the world of gastronomy, and for those with discerning tastes and deep pockets, the culinary landscape transforms into a realm of extraordinary and often exorbitant delicacies. From rare and meticulously cultivated fruits to meticulously crafted dishes, the journey through the most expensive foods in the world unveils a tapestry of luxury and opulence. In this exploration, we rank and unveil the unparalleled flavors that come with a price tag.

Bluefin Tuna: $1.8 Million

Bluefin tuna is notably very expensive for seafood lovers - and an entire Bluefin tuna came in at $1.8 million at a fish market in Tokyo. This tuna, as one of the most expensive in the world, could cost around $5,000 per pound of it! This particular fish has a very meaty texture to it.Original content sourced from Femanin.com
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Bluefin tuna is renowned for its exquisite flavor and prized by seafood enthusiasts worldwide, but its staggering prices, especially exemplified by the jaw-dropping $1.8 million sale at a Tokyo fish market, underscore its status as a truly luxury item.

White Gold Caviar: $40,000

The paler the caviar is, the more expensive it can be, which is why white or gold caviar is a lot more expensive than black caviar, which most people know about. This particular type of white gold caviar will be a very expensive mouthful indeed - at $40,000 for only a teaspoon!
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The cultivation of albino sturgeon is a delicate and time-consuming endeavor. These unique sturgeon are more sensitive to environmental conditions, requiring meticulous care throughout their development. The breeding and harvesting process is resource-intensive.

Black Caviar: $37,000

When thinking about how the rich wine and dine, most people would think of the whole 'champagne and caviar' deal - with good reason. Caviar is very expensive, because the fish sturgeon eggs have to be harvested by hand. There are many different varieties of Caviar, each with their own price tag.
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One teaspoon of Strottarga Bianco caviar would cost you a casual $37,000! Unlike other seafood, sturgeon eggs must be delicately collected by hand, a meticulous task that requires expertise and precision. The scarcity of sturgeon, coupled with strict regulations contributes to the rarity of the caviar

Edible Gold Leaf: $15,000

As the name rightly suggests, edible gold leaf is completely safe to eat - but it'll cost you. Because you're eating pure gold, after all. It's safe to eat edible gold leaf as long as it's between 22 and 24 karats. But this one is entirely a 'look how much money I've got' flex, because it doesn't taste of anything.
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The decision to include edible gold leaf in a meal is often a deliberate choice made by chefs and individuals aiming to make a bold statement or create a memorable dining experience. It essentially just serves as a "look how much money I've got" flex.

Saffron: $10,000

Saffron is one of the most popular spices in the world, and it's also the most expensive spice in the world. It comes in at around $10,000 per pound in retail prices. The reason for the high price is because of the sheer amount of saffron flowers it takes to make a very small amount of spice.
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The demand for saffron is also driven by its distinctive flavor, aroma, and vibrant color, making it a sought-after ingredient in various cuisines around the world. Despite its steep price, saffron remains a prized spice, valued not only for its culinary contributions but also for its historical significance and traditional uses.

Red Swiftlet Nests: $10,000

Don't be put off by the ominous looking red color - the swiftlet is actually a variety of bird, and it makes a nest in this red hue which can then actually be used for a very expensive Chinese soup dish. Fetching around $10,000 per bowl, it's apparently loaded with health benefits.
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The swiftlet's nests are carefully collected from caves, cliffs, or specially designed nesting houses. The process of harvesting these nests is delicate and requires expertise to avoid damaging the delicate structures. After collection, the nests are meticulously cleaned.

White Truffles: $6,000 to $10,000

If you're only used to eating the chocolate kind of truffle, it's probably because you can't afford this version - and we're right there with you. White truffles are extremely expensive, found in Italy as fungi dug from the ground. Truffle hogs or expensive dog breeds are needed to seek them out.
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Unlike black truffles, which are more widely distributed, white truffles have a more limited geographical range and are generally found in smaller quantities. This rarity, combined with the difficulty of cultivating them commercially, contributes to their exclusivity and elevated price.

Elvish Honey: $6,800

While this sounds like something out of a fantasy TV series, it's very much real - and it's very much expensive. Elvish honey is very rare, which is where its $6,800 per kilo price tag comes from. This honey needs to be gathered from caves by only the most professional climbers.
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The nickname "Elvish honey" might be inspired by the otherworldly and almost magical properties associated with this honey. The honey is known for its psychoactive effects, leading to altered states of consciousness when consumed in significant amounts.

Black Watermelon: $6,000

Also known as the Densuke melon, this watermelon from Japan is very rare - and very expensive. The fruit, which has a notable black skin compared to normal watermelons, is both sweet and crunchy to eat. They're also very prized gifts at weddings and celebrations!
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The distinctive black skin of the Densuke watermelon is not only eye-catching but also serves a practical purpose. The dark color helps the fruit absorb more sunlight, aiding in the photosynthesis process and contributing to the development of its sweet and flavorful interior.

Iberico Ham: $4,500

Iberico ham is a well-known (and expensive) delicacy from Spain. This ham comes from the back leg of a pig - the black pig specifically - and results in the most expensive ham in the world. Its distinct flavor comes from the acorns which the pig feasts on in the wild.
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The pigs are typically raised in specific regions of Spain, where they roam freely in expansive oak forests, known as "dehesas." During the final phase of their lives, the pigs undergo the montanera, a period in which they feast on acorns (bellota) found in these oak forests.

White Swiftlet Nests: $2,000

We've already had the red variety, which come in with a much higher price tag, but there's also a white variety of the swiftlet nest which is popular for cuisine. A bowl of soup, which is what this Chinese delicacy is, using this nest will run in at around $2,000, and it's apparently worth it.
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The high price tag, such as $2,000 for a bowl of soup, reflects not only the rarity of the white swiftlet nests but also the challenges involved in their harvest. Similar to the red variety you mentioned earlier, the white nests are meticulously collected from caves, cliffs, or specially designed nesting houses.

Pule Cheese: $1,700

Pule cheese is also known as donkey cheese, but it's actually made from both donkey's milk and goat's milk. It's native to the Balkans, and is recognisable by its pale white appearance and strong flavor. It's very difficult to make, making it very rare - and expensive.
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onkey's milk is notoriously difficult to obtain in large quantities, as donkeys produce a relatively small amount of milk compared to cows or goats. This scarcity, coupled with the necessity of combining it with goat's milk, adds to the complexity and cost of production.

Ethical Foie Gras: $1,540

The reason we say ethical is because there is a lot of controversy over how foie gras is produced in general. This ethical - and pricey - variety come from geese raised on free-roam farms. They are also not force-fed in order to produce this delicacy for consumption.
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In traditional foie gras production, force-feeding, also known as gavage, is a controversial practice where a tube is inserted into the goose's esophagus to deliver large amounts of food, typically a mixture of corn and fat. This process leads to the fattening of the liver.

Moose Cheese: $1,074

Did you know moose could make cheese? And expensive cheese at that? No, we didn't either. This cheese can only be found at the Moose House Farm in Sweden, for a very high price tag. The cheese is made from the milk the moose produces, and can fetch around $1,074 per kilo.
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The milk, drawn from these majestic creatures, imparts a hint of wildness and richness, creating a cheese that transcends the ordinary. The cheese is aged to perfection, allowing the natural nuances of the moose milk to develop into a symphony of savory notes.

Matsutake Mushrooms: $1,000

These mushrooms are very much an acquired taste - but isn't everything that's expensive? These Japanese mushrooms have a combination of sweet and spicy for their flavor, and come in at around $1,000 per pound - and the reason for their high price tag is that they're only harvested once a year.
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The cultivation of high-quality Shiitake mushrooms requires precise control over factors such as temperature, humidity, and light. Creating optimal conditions for their growth can be more challenging, necessitating additional resources and expertise.

Kopi Luwak Coffee: $700

We all know coffee can get very expensive, but you might be shocked to learn why this one is so hefty in price... and by shocked, we mean disgusted. The Kopi Luwak Coffee is so expensive because the coffee beans have been eaten and then pooped out by the Asian palm civet - an animal sort of like a weasel.
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Harvesting the coffee beans from civet feces is a labor-intensive process. Workers must meticulously collect, clean, and process the beans by hand, adding to the overall cost of production. And so, Kopi Luwak Coffee is often marketed as an exotic and exclusive product.

Pure Vanilla: $600

Seeing as how vanilla is so much an everyday thing these days, like with scented candles and ice cream, it might be surprising to know vanilla on its own is a luxury food item. Racking up a total of around $600 per pound, Tahitian vanilla beans are actually the luxury ones you want to get your hands on!
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The geographical exclusivity of Tahitian vanilla contributes to its rarity, as the unique climate and soil conditions of the South Pacific impart a flavor profile that dances on the palate with floral and fruity notes. It's not just vanilla; it's an aromatic symphony that elevates dishes to new heights.

Fugu Fish: $470

Based on the fact that this fish can actually be lethal if not cooked properly, you'd think it would actually be a lot higher in price than it already is! Also known as the pufferfish, this delicacy contains a poison that only specially trained chefs are allowed to handle in order to serve.
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In Japan, where fugu holds a special place in the culinary landscape, specially trained chefs undergo rigorous apprenticeships to master the art of fugu preparation. The meticulous removal of toxic organs is a skill passed down through generations. Only those who have trained can serve it!

Kobe Beef: $250

Kobe beef is one of the most expensive meat variations you can get in the world. It comes from the Kobe region of Japan, from a particular breed of cattle, which are then raised in a very strict and particular way to result in the meat tasting a lot nicer than it usually would - for a price!
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However, the journey to becoming Kobe beef doesn't end with the right breed. The strict and particular methods of raising these cattle play a pivotal role in crafting the unparalleled quality of the meat. The cattle are raised in a stress-free environment, where they receive a diet rich in nutrients

Wagyu Beef: $200

Wagyu beef is a way to up your beef game, as this is the more expensive steak you can buy. The wagyu beef, hailing from Japan, is notable for its more marbling pattern of fat, as well as a superior flavor to regular beef. This beef from Japan can cost around $200 per pound.
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The Wagyu cattle, often associated with Japan's Kobe region, are raised with meticulous care and attention. Their diet, a crucial factor in the development of that coveted marbling, includes a blend of high-quality grains, unique to each breeder's preference.

Aceto Balsamic Vinegar: $180

You might have thought nothing of your dollar-store balsamic vinegar you chuck on your salads from time to time, but yes you can actually get very expensive versions. Traditional - and expensive - balsamic vinegar made in Italy will come in around $180 for an aged 100ml bottle.
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Traditional balsamic vinegar is often made from grape must, the freshly crushed juice that includes the skins, seeds, and stems. This concoction is then aged through a complex and time-consuming process that involves barrels made from various types of wood.

Iranian Pistachios: $153

When you get a particularly good batch of pistachios which are prized for their shells and notable taste, it can cost around $153 per kilo of these nuts. There are actually a few different varieties of nuts which come in expensive, including macadamia as well as pistachio.
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Pistachios, in their superior form, are not merely a snack; they are a sensory experience. The exquisite taste, enhanced by the unique qualities of the shells, adds a layer of sophistication to these nuts. The vibrant green hue of the pistachio shells conceals the treasure within.

Caciocavallo Podolico: $140

Based on the weird teardrop shape, you might be thinking what on earth is that? Well it's actually cheese - a very expensive cheese! Named after the cow it comes from, this cheese - which actually comes in a few different varieties, with Podolica being the most expensive - sells for around $140 a kilo.

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The teardrop shape, a visual intrigue in itself, is crafted through a meticulous process that involves the perfect balance of ingredients, time, and craftsmanship. What sets Podolica cheese apart, particularly in its various luxurious varieties, is not just the price tag but the nuanced flavors and textures it presents.

Goose Barnacles: $125

You can get your hands on goose barnacles by free diving for them yourself, when the tide's low enough. They are among the most expensive seafood options in the world, and the most in-demand are ones from Spain. They come in at a price of around $125 per pound.
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The process of acquiring goose barnacles is a testament to the dedication and adventurous spirit of those who seek this maritime delicacy. Free diving during low tide, individuals immerse themselves in the coastal waters, scouring rocks and submerged surfaces for these prized barnacles.

Abalone: $120

Abalone is a type of marine snail, which can be found off the coast of South Australia. They're harvested to serve up on a platter, with a high price tag. They can fetch a price of around $120 per mollusc, but fisherman who harvest tonnes and tonnes of abalone meat could expect prices in the millions.
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Fishermen navigate the coastal waters, diving into the depths to collect these marine snails. The challenge lies not only in the skill required to harvest them but also in the limited availability of abalone in their natural habitat. Their scarcity contributes to the exclusivity of the delicacy.

Ayam Cemani Chicken: $100

This particular chicken - because of its distinct coloration - is prized for its meat, which is why it's on the luxury price end. It actually costs around $2,000 to get your hands on a whole chicken, while they come in at $100 per pound for the meat. It's one of the most expensive chicken breeds in the world!
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The chicken breed requires specialized and meticulous breeding practices, such as strict environmental conditions, specific diets, or careful genetic selection, the costs associated with maintaining and breeding these chickens could contribute to their high price.

Yubari Melon: $100

Yubari melons come in as one of the most expensive fruits in the world. Just like many other expensive foods on this list, this melon comes from Japan. They're popular - and expensive - because of their very sweet flavor, and their easy portion size. You can only find these at luxury food stores.
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Yubari melons are not mass-produced. The limited geographical area suitable for their cultivation, coupled with the meticulous care required during the growth process, restricts the overall supply. Limited availability often leads to higher demand and, subsequently, elevated prices.

Luxury Olive Oil: $89

We know what you're thinking - how can an everyday kitchen item cost so much money? Well, a luxury version of this particular oil doesn't come close to your supermarket price tag. It's made from hand-picked and cold-pressed olives, and even presented in a leather pouch.
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The timing of the olive harvest can impact the flavor of the oil. Luxury versions may be harvested at specific stages of ripeness to achieve optimal taste and aroma. Luxury olive oils may showcase unique flavor profiles that result from specific olive varieties, terroir, and production methods.

Coffin Bay King Oysters: $77

Oysters are very easily accessible these days, but they can budge into the 'luxury' category if you pay for the right ones. Coffin Bay King Oysters are among the most expensive in the world, and you'll need to look hard to find (and afford) these ones.
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Sourced from the pristine waters of Coffin Bay, Australia, these oysters are a rare and coveted delicacy that demands both effort and investment to acquire. The exclusivity of Coffin Bay King Oysters lies not only in their scarcity but in the unparalleled quality of their flavor and texture.

Vanilla Beans: $10

The price tag of $10 is actually per vanilla bean - so you can imagine the high price tag for a whole load of them. They're so expensive because they need to be pollinated by hand, one by one, and during a short time window when the flower is open. This time-consuming - and time-constrained - work racks up a high price tag.
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This intricate process is further compounded by the narrow time window during which the vanilla flower opens, demanding swift and precise action. The scarcity of this time-consuming and time-constrained work imparts a significant cost to each individual vanilla bean.

Glass Eel: $1,581

Eel is a very prized food item in Japan, which is why it runs up such a high price: around $1581 per kg! Eels come in many different varieties, and price ranges, but the glass eel - which is another name for a juvenile eel, when it's still young - is one of the most expensive.
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The diversity in eel varieties and price ranges adds to its allure, with one of the most expensive being the glass eel, synonymous with the juvenile stage of these aquatic delicacies. The distinctiveness of glass eels, captured during their early, tender phase, contributes to their elevated price.

Black Truffles: $1,750

We already know that white truffles are extremely expensive, but did you know that black truffles exist, too? And they're also worth a pretty penny. This food can only be found in a few very select luxury restaurants. They have a very earthy and very pungent flavor - perfect for fish!
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. Renowned for their distinctive earthy and pungent flavor profile, black truffles carve out a niche in the realm of luxury cuisine, adding an aromatic touch to the dining experiences of connoisseurs. While white truffles often steal the spotlight, black truffles, with their robust and nuanced taste, find their place as a coveted ingredient, particularly in select luxury restaurants.

Scottish Lobster: $80

We know that seafood can get very expensive based on the type and size, and lobster is definitely one of the most hefty price tags. The Scottish lobster in particular can be an expensive dish, at around $80 per kg. It's characteristic of its very black shell rather than red.
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This unique characteristic adds to the allure of the Scottish lobster, making it a visual and gastronomic standout on the seafood scene. As a testament to the meticulous cultivation and harvesting practices, coupled with the exceptional flavors it brings to the table.

Hacienda La Esmerelda Coffee: $1000

This coffee has been labelled as the best in the world - which is why you can expect to pay big bucks for it! Is it worth it? Apparently so! This coffee bean has been described to have tangerine undertones to it, and is a very unique and prized coffee variety that coffee lovers will want to try at least once - if you have enough money, of course.
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This coveted coffee bean variety, celebrated for its unparalleled quality, draws not only from the meticulous cultivation and harvesting processes but also from the unique flavors it imparts. Described with tangerine undertones, each sip promises a sensory journey that sets it apart from conventional coffee offerings.

Shark Fin: $600

The fin of a shark specifically is apparently considered a delicacy - a rather expensive delicacy, at that. It will cost you around $600 per kg of fin. The tragic thing about this one is the fin is gotten hold of by a process called shark finning, where the shark is still alive when its fin is removed and then dies by sinking to the bottom of the ocean, or unable to defend itself against other fish.
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The culinary world has bestowed the fin of a shark with the label of a delicacy, but this distinction comes at a steep cost—both monetarily and ethically. There are huge environmental and ethical concerns surrounding the controversial practice of shark finning, prompting a reevaluation of the true cost of this delicacy.

La Bonnotte Potatoes: $500

There is only one island in the world that is used to produce this exclusive type of potato, and that's a small island off the coast of France. La Bonnotte potatoes will set you back around $500 per kg. The potatoes can only be handpicked, because they're so delicate!
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Handpicked with utmost care, these potatoes are deemed too delicate for mechanical harvesting, underscoring the artisanal approach that defines their production. The unique terroir of the island imparts distinct qualities to La Bonnotte making it a gastronomic treasure.

Pineapple Heligan: $15,000

As shocking as this price may be, this is because this is a food item truly fit for royalty. A pineapple heligan was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II, of England, on her 50th wedding anniversary. The effort it takes to plant and care for these particular pineapples justifies the price.
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Heligan Pineapples are typically grown in a traditional Victorian-style forcing pit. These structures, often made of brick or wood, are designed to provide a controlled environment for the pineapple plants. . Pineapple plants are placed in the pit, which provides a warm and sheltered environment.

Artificial Meat: $363

Priced at $363 per pound, artificial meat is something which is relatively new in terms of cuisine - but it's something that would drastically improve the situation of animal cruelty and meat from animals. It's made from natural meat cells, but grown in a lab - so it's no surprise it runs on the expensive side.
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The result is a product that not only aligns with ethical and humane principles but it also presents a potential solution to the environmental challenges associated with conventional meat production, such as deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Zengcheng Hanging Green Lychee: $80,000

Fruit can get very, very expensive if this list is anything to go by, but in China you'll find a very expensive fruit indeed: the hanging green lychee. This price comes from a record at auction that someone was willing to pay for this red and blue-skinned fruit, with a sweet taste.
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The remarkable price tag associated with this fruit stems from a record-setting auction where someone demonstrated a remarkable willingness to pay a premium for this rare and coveted delicacy. It is characterized by its red and blue-skinned exterior.

Chestnut Oil: $1,400

Chestnut oil is often known as 'liquid gold' - which may not surprise you based on that price per liter! While considered a food stuff, chestnut oil is most notably used by people who have a lot of money to spend on skincare - and then use this oil on their skin for health benefits!
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As 'liquid gold,' chestnut oil not only adds a touch of luxury to the kitchen but also becomes a prized asset in the world of premium skincare, where the pursuit of beauty aligns seamlessly with indulgence. It's super rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

Hops: $1,300

Otherwise known as seed cones, hops come in at $1,300 per kilo. This vegetable looks very much like asparagus, but hops are very rare. Hops are difficult to get hold of, because they only grow once a year - in the spring - and you have to get them quickly because they die off fast!
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The fleeting nature of hops adds to their rarity, requiring swift and timely harvesting before they succumb to their ephemeral lifespan. This characteristic makes the acquisition of hops a delicate and time-sensitive process, contributing to the difficulty in obtaining these vegetable seed cones.

Matcha Green Tea: $180

Matcha green tea is very easily available, and a lot of people are embracing it in their diets these days, but it's still very expensive at $180 per kilo. This tea is different to tea leaves because matcha comes as powder which is then dissolved in water or milk. Green tea also has many health benefits.
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What sets matcha apart is not only its vibrant green hue and distinctive flavor but also its unique form. Unlike traditional tea leaves, matcha is finely ground into a powder, creating a concentrated and versatile ingredient that can be dissolved in water or milk.

Fennel Pollen: $1000

At $1,000 per kg, fennel pollen is a surprisingly expensive dish - and maybe one you didn't even know existed. Fennel is very difficult to collect, so the pollen needs to be collected by hand from wild fennel, which can mainly be found in California and Italy. It's also known as 'culinary fairy dust'!
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Bestowed with the whimsical moniker 'culinary fairy dust,' fennel pollen adds not only a touch of extravagance to dishes but also a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from conventional herbs and spices. The labor-intensive nature of collecting fennel pollen contributes to its rarity, elevating it to a status of culinary indulgence.

Kona Nigari Water: $550

Found in Hawaii, this particular brand of very expensive water comes completely from the ocean. You might think that tastes a little... salty, but deep ocean water found in Hawaii is used for this bottled expense, because it's clean and not like the surface water where rubbish collects.
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Its content comes entirely from the depths of the ocean surrounding the Hawaiian islands. The deep ocean water, used for this bottled extravagance, is distinguished by its pristine quality, free from the contaminants and impurities often associated with surface water where debris and pollutants can accumulate.

Japanese Matsusaka Beef: $550

At $550 per kg, this meat is worth every dollar due to its superior taste. It has an exquisite flavor and richness that standard beef doesn't have. But there's actually an 'application' process before beef can be called Matsusaka, which includes cows being carefully chosen.
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The path to being labeled Matsusaka beef involves a careful selection of cows, a process that is as much an art as it is a science. The cows chosen for this premium designation undergo specific criteria, ensuring that only the finest specimens contribute to the Matsusaka beef legacy.

Buddha Shaped Pears: $80-$90

You're either thinking this adorable, or terrifying. Or maybe both. But these carefully crafted buddha shaped pears come from China, with a higher price tag than regular pears because - well, look at them! They're made from plastic molds to get their faces and little tums just right.
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As a testament to the intersection of agriculture and art, these Buddha-shaped pears stand out as a delightful and playful addition to the world of fresh produce, inviting consumers to appreciate the beauty and creativity that can be found even in the most unexpected corners of the culinary landscape.

Haggis: $22

Haggis, coming in at $22 per kg, is a Scottish pudding with a very unique collection of ingredients. Haggis is made by using a sheep's stomach to pack full of sheep liver, lungs and heart, before adding onions and spices into the mix. It's a popular Scottish dish that also has demand in other parts of the world.
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Haggis is often celebrated as a symbol of Scottish identity and is a centerpiece of traditional celebrations, particularly during Burns Night, a commemoration of the poet Robert Burns. The appeal of haggis lies in its affordability and its ability to capture the essence of Scottish culinary heritage

Mango Taiyo-no-Tamago: $2,000

This type of mango is usually sold in pairs, which comes in at $4,000 for the two! Or at least that's what it was priced at at auction. These mangos are also known as the 'eggs of the sun'. To make this mango qualify for the price, it needs to be placed in plenty of sunlight, and not have a speck of green on its skin.
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The unique attributes of these mangos go beyond their sweet and succulent taste. To qualify for such a premium price, each mango is carefully nurtured in ample sunlight, with the added requirement of presenting a flawless exterior—devoid of any blemish on the skin.

Ruby Roman Grape: $90-$140

At least the price is $90-$140 per bunch, and not per grape! But that's still one expensive grape. These grapes are best known for their highly sweet kick, and each individual grape is 4 times as large as a standard grape you'd find in your local grocery store. Worth the price, then?
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These grapes, celebrated for their highly sweet flavor, present an indulgent experience with each bite. Adding to their allure, each individual grape in this premium bunch is a noteworthy four times larger than a standard grape found in a local grocery store.

Sekai-ichi Apple: $21

We know what you're thinking: that's a big apple! This type of apple - $21 per apple, not per bushel - doesn't taste amazingly different to other apples, but the high price tag comes from the way it's manually planted, cared for and harvested, rather than by machines.
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Unlike apples cultivated using automated machinery, this particular variety is planted, nurtured, and harvested entirely by hand. The commitment to manual labor, precision, and a hands-on approach throughout the cultivation process contributes to the elevated cost per apple.