If you’re looking to expand your horizons into the world of excess culinary expense, then you could do worse than starting with a few items on the list below. We’ve collected some of the most outlandish, outrageous and, above all, the most expensive foods in the world.
10. Matsutake Mushrooms – $1000/pound
The matsutake, or mattake, mushroom is expensive because of its rarity. While its historical prevalence meant it was nearly synonymous with autumn in Japan, the introduction of an insect that kills the trees under which the mushroom grows has caused a dramatic decrease in the number of matsutake mushrooms. A method for farming the matsutake has yet to be developed, which means the lack of trees from which to harvest these mushrooms naturally is a serious problem for the species.
9. The World’s Most Expensive Bagel – $1000
This bagel, created by Executive Chef Frank Tujague for New York’s Westin Hotel, is topped with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves. The bagel’s price is justified when you consider that white truffles happen to be the second most expensive food by weight, eclipsed only by caviar. The underground fungus grows only under specific oak trees in Alba, Italy. Their pheromone-like odor is considered to be an aphrodisiac and is the reason dogs and female pigs are used to hunt the precious truffle.
8. The Zillion Dollar Frittata – $1000
This absurdly expensive breakfast item consists of a mixture of eggs, lobster and 10 ounces of sevruga caviar (which costs the restaurant $65 per ounce). On the menu next to the expensive omelet there is a challenge that reads, “Norma dares you to expense this.”
7. Wagyu Steak – $2800
While Wagyu cattle are raised both in and outside Japan, the Kobe varietal which is raised specifically in the Hyogo prefecture is the most elite. Employing the most traditional production methods, Kobe beef comes from cows that are allegedly fed only beer and massaged by hand to ensure a tenderness and marbling beyond compare. These dishes can be out of range for the average restaurateur, carrying an unhealthy load of fat and a price tag to match. For your next after-work social, you might try taking your associates to New York City’s Craftsteak, where a full Wagyu rib eye was served up to a private party for $2800.
6. Samundari Khazana, the World’s Most Expensive Curry – $3200
To celebrate the DVD release of Slumdog Millionaire, Bombay Brassiere packed this curry platter full of the most expensive ingredients they could find. Devon crab and white truffle and a half tomato filled with Beluga caviar and dressed with gold leaf are just the start of this lavish dish. A Scottish lobster, also coated with gold, four abalone and four shelled and hollowed quails’ eggs filled with even more caviar round out the dish.
5. Domenico Crolla’s “Pizza Royale 007″ – $4200
The 12 inch pizza pie is densely packed with an assortment of some of the world’s most expensive food ingredients, such as lobster marinated in cognac, caviar soaked in champagne, sunblush tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, venison medallions, prosciutto, and vintage balsamic vinegar. In addition to all these fine ingredients, it’s topped with a significant amount of edible 24-carat gold flakes.
4. Dansuke Watermelon – $6,100
In a country where watermelons are rare game, they can be a costly commodity. That’s how a 17-pound Japanese watermelon became the most expensive watermelon in the world. Densuke watermelons, a type of black watermelon grown only on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, are usually given as gifts due to their extraordinary rarity. There were only sixty-five of the fruits among the first harvest this season. They are harder and crisper than the watermelons we Americans are used to and, according to Tohma Agricultural Cooperative’s spokesman, they “have a different level of sweetness.”
3. Yubari Melons – $22,872
Another type of expensive melon, the world’s most expensive cantaloupes are a pair of Yubari melons and were the first auction of the 2008 season. They had previously been judged the best pair and were purchased by the owner of a nearby seafood lunchbox and souvenir business. It had some competition—100 melons grown by farmers from Yubari were also judged.
2. Almas Caviar – $25,000
Almas caviar comes from Iran making it extremely rare and extremely expensive. The only known outlet is the Caviar House & Prunier in London England’s Picadilly that sells a kilo of the expensive Almas caviar in a 24-karat gold tin for £16,000, or about $25,000. Coincidentally, it is also where you can find the most expensive meal in Britain. The Caviar House also sells a £800 tin for those on a smaller budget.
1. Italian White Alba Truffle – $160,406
Expensive truffles are notoriously pricey because they are difficult to cultivate. This makes them a true delicacy which some have called the king of all fungi. The Associate Press reported that a real estate investor and his wife from Hong Kong have paid €125,000 ($160,406 USD) for a gigantic Italian White Alba truffle which is reportedly the world’s most expensive ever. The most expensive truffle weighs in 1.51 kilograms (3.3 lbs).