17 of the Most Expensive Foods You Can Eat in the World!

Most Expensive Foods In The World
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There are foods in this world that can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, and you’ll be surprised by what foods these are. Some of these foods you may not even know! If you have ever wondered what the most expensive food is in the world, Genie has all the answers. 

The following list contains some of the most expensive foods in the world. No matter how much of a foodie you are, we are not sure you could ever justify spending so much money on some of these options!

If you want to find out more about the most expensive things in the world, take a look at the Ask Genie blog!

Top 17 Most Expensive Foods

1. Saffron

Saffron must be the world's most expensive spice. It can cost around $5,000 at wholesale, and the retail price can be as high as $10,000 per pound. Yes, you read that right, a pound of Saffron can cost more than a holiday. It takes 75,000 saffron flowers just to make a pound of spice, which is why it costs so much.

The harvesting process is also very labor intensive, and the Saffron crocus only blooms once every single year. Although this spice comes at a hefty price, a little bit of it can go a very long way.

Saffron is rich in flavor and can be used as a spice in paella, risotto and as a marinade for fish. Saffron also has various health benefits. It is a potent spice that can reduce PMS symptoms, improve one's mood, and helps prevent inflammation.

2. White truffles

We cannot list the most expensive foods and not include white truffles. Although black truffles are considered black diamonds, the white truffles (the ones that little pigs dig up) are much more expensive.

White truffles are mostly found in Italy, particularly in Tuscany and Piedmont - where they are a very popular delicacy. To sniff out the Alba white truffles or the tuber magnatum, the locals use a very expensive dog breed, the Lagotto Romagnolo, or truffle hogs.

A pound of fresh white winter truffles can cost anything between $6,000 to $10,000. This eye-watering price means that chefs need to use white truffles very sparingly. They are often grated over omelets or used as a delicious truffle salad dressing. White truffle butter is also very popular.

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3. Bluefin tuna

Bluefin tuna comes at a very high price and might be the most expensive food in the world. It can cost as much as $5,000 for a pound of bluefin tuna. In 2020, a 600-pound bluefin tuna was sold in Tokyo at the Toyosu fish market for a whopping $1.8 million. People will spend crazy money on this fishy! 

Bluefin tuna has a delicate flavor and a very meaty texture. However, the Pacific bluefin tuna is very vulnerable, and the Southern bluefin tuna, in particular, is critically endangered due to terrible overfishing. 

However, there is a growing emergence of sustainable alternatives. The Usufuku Honten tuna fishery became the first in the world to be awarded the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate, the global standard for sustainable fishing. Because of their efforts, the endangerment of the bluefin tuna is being carefully monitored and kept from irreversible damage. 

4. Fugu fish

Fugu fish is very popular in Japanese restaurants, and just one portion of puffer or fugu Fish can cost you around $470. This fish comes at such a high price because if it is not prepared correctly, it can be lethal. 

Fugu fish can only be prepared by chefs who have done at least three or more years of training since the fish contains tetrodotoxin poison. The fugu fish is otherwise known as the tiger fugu and has a chewy consistency and mild flavor.

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5. Caviar

Caviar or fish eggs is a bit of an obvious one. Most people know that this comes at quite a price. Caviar is an acquired taste and is certainly not everyone's favorite, but it costs so much because the fish sturgeon eggs need to be harvested by hand. However, all sturgeon eggs now come from fish farms. 

The two most expensive caviars are Beluga and Osetra caviar from the Caspian Sea. Golden Almas caviar comes from Iran and is known for its velvety, delicate taste and very high price tag.

Strottarga Bianco comes in at the priciest caviar and is undoubtedly a luxury food. This albino gosh egg comes sprinkled with 22-karat gold and is from the Siberian Albino sturgeon. A single teaspoon of this caviar can cost you as much as $37,000. The paler the caviar, the more expensive it is. 

6. Wagyu beef

Considered to be much juicer and tender than traditional steaks, Wagyu beef is known for its intense flavor and fat marbling. The term Wagyu refers to a type of cow in Japan, and the reason it is so expensive comes down to how the cows are reared. 

From the types of jackets they wear in cold weather, the fact they’re given names instead of numbers to the diet and affection they are shown by their handlers. 

Although you can get American Wagyu beef, which is also delicious and comes very close to the Japanese version, the priciest cut is from Matsusaka in Mie Prefecture.

These Grade A cuts of Wagyu beef can cost upwards of $200 per pound whereas the cows themselves can be purchased at auction from around $30,000 - 40 times the price of American cows. 

In 2002, a Matsusaka cow sold for 50 million yen at a market, the equivalent of $400,000.

No wonder cows are considered sacred in some parts of the world!

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7. Matsutake mushrooms

Matsutake is the most expensive mushroom in the world and can cost as high as $1,000 per pound. Despite an acquired taste, these Japanese mushrooms have a spicy but sweet flavor. 

Matsutake mushrooms come at such a high price because pinewood nematode worms are destroying their natural habitat, and the mushroom can only be harvested once a year as a result. When harvested, they only get to around 1,000 tonnes - so it makes sense that it comes at a hefty price. 

8. Goose barnacles

Goose barnacles are otherwise known as stalked barnacles, and they are crustaceans with a very distinct look that live on debris and rocks. The name comes from medieval naturalists who came upon this sea creature and thought it was an egg of a goose. Since these barnacles like to live on sharp rocks, it can be dangerous going to retrieve them

But getting your hands on this valuable food is no easy feat. On average, five people die a year trying to harvest Goose barnacles in Spain. This is because you only have a few hours to gather them before the tides start rising. The fisherman even have their own name, Percebeiros, which refers to those who jump from their boat onto the rocks or swim through underwater caves in order to collect them.

They can also be difficult to remove from their rock, not just because of the circumstances but because any damage done to these barnacles will lower their value. 

This puts them on the list, along with some of the most expensive seafood. Goose barnacles are native to the East Atlantic and can be found in Cape Verde, Australia, Spain, Morocco, and France. The best ones come from Galicia in Spain. This seafood can cost as much as $125 per pound.

To prevent overharvesting, the rock they came from will be closed for six months which only adds to their preciousness.

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9. Black watermelon

We all know and love our standard watermelon. But have you ever heard of black watermelon? Black watermelon is a fruit found in Japan and is called Densuke watermelon. It has a crunchy and sweet taste, commonly found on Hokkaido island.

These watermelons require months of care and lots of space to grow since only 100,000 are available each year - making them relatively rare and hard to get your hands on (unless you've got the big bucks). Since these watermelons are so rare, people pay as much as $6,000 for one. 

Black watermelons are prized gifts, often given to people during special occasions like weddings or birthdays.

10. Iberico ham

You've heard of the Italian Parma ham, but did you know that the most expensive ham in the world is Iberico ham? Spanish Iberian ham, which comes from the hind leg of black pigs, is a true delicacy.

These black pigs live in the wild and eat acorns, known as bellota in Spanish. The full name of this delicacy is Jamón Iberico de Bellota, also referred to as Pata Negra, which means black paw.

The Iberico ham gets its flavor from the oleic acid found in the acorns that the pigs eat. The ham matures from 24-36 months before it is ready, and people can pay prices as high as $4,500 for a single leg of jamón ibérico. The ham always comes vacuum sealed and can last at least one month after opening.

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11. Kopi Luwak coffee beans

Kopi Luwak coffee beans are the most expensive coffee in the entire world. Prices can range between $250 to $1200 per kilogram, around $114-$550 per pound. The coffee beans go through a very particular process, adding to the hefty price tag.

First, the beans need to be consumed by a Civet cat, but since they cannot be digested, the beans ferment to leave a unique taste. But, as you may have guessed, the only way to harvest these beans is from the Civet’s feces. Gross!

Once they have been expelled, collected and processed, they are then washed, dried, pounded, and ready to be roasted. You may not think it, but this cat poop is considered gold in Southeast Asia.

Don't knock it till you try!

12. Vanilla

Vanilla beans are one of the most expensive foods in the world, specifically from Madagascar. 

The reason for their expense comes from a variety of reasons, the main one being how difficult it is to grow them. The bean comes from Orchid plants, specifically vanilla planifolia, which are very difficult to keep alive and must be hand-pollinated as a result. 

Hand pollination is an incredibly strenuous process of manually transferring pollen to the plant for the beans to grow. Farmers must also consider the unpredictable weather and storms that can affect how these crops grow. Strong storms in Madagascar have caused problems and reduced the number of vanilla beans available on the market today, and this also means that the price has skyrocketed.

Due to how labor-intensive the crop is and how long it takes to harvest, Vanilla can cost up to $600 for one pound.

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13. Oysters

At one point in time, oysters used to be a cheap, affordable bar snack that everyone but in this day and age, they are somewhat of a delicacy. 

Oysters have been enjoyed for centuries and were first cultivated by the Romans. But since Sergius Orata’s oyster farming invention and the huge popularity it experienced during the start of the 19th century, oyster’s have since become increasingly difficult to collect. 

In today's climate, overfishing has quickly reduced the number of oysters in our seas, and as a result, they have become one of the most expensive foods in the world.

The most expensive oysters in the world are Coffin Bay King Oysters which weigh around one kilo and cost about $77. These types of oysters may take 18 to 24 months before they can be harvested. 

14. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is considered the healthiest olive oil because it is made from unprocessed, cold-pressed olives. This premium oil has several uses and is high in antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fat.

Lambda is an award-wining, super-premium olive oil brand from Speiron Company from Greece who produced the first luxury olive oil in the world. 

The olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed from some of Greece's oldest olive trees, making them strong and fruity in flavor. Everything is handmade, from bottles to labels, which makes this company very sustainable. 

With a price tag of $89 for 500 ml, this olive oil is the priciest in the world. And it comes packaged in a hand-sewn leather pouch too!

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15. Moose cheese

The cheese known as "moose cheese" is precisely what it sounds like: it is made from moose milk. Since it is only ever produced on Sweden's Moose House Farm/Elk House Farm, it has a premium price tag.

It has a $500 price tag per pound as a matter of fact. 

Interestingly, one of the most stolen foods in the world is cheese. Exotic cheese frequently sells at outrageous auction prices, and moose cheese is one of them.

The milk is prepared using 5 liters of milk produced by each of the mooses daily from May to September and they only use milk from Haelga, Gullan, and Juno (yes, those are moose names!). 

The Moose House Farm can only sell about 300 kg of cheese each year, which can cost about $1074 per kilogram.

16. Ayam Cemani black chicken

These chickens are an uncommon breed that comes from Indonesia. Black covers every inch of an Ayam Cemani chicken's body, including the skin, internal organs, and feathers. A dominant gene that affects the hens' appearance causes this coloration.

Anyone hoping to find this uncommon chicken will need to fly abroad since it is mostly found in Malaysia and Indonesia. Ayam Cemani chickens often sell for around $2,500 per chicken due to their rarity (there are only approximately 3,500 in the whole world).

It is also known as the goth chicken, and exporting it is banned due to the fear of bird flu.

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17. Foie gras (duck or goose liver)

Because of its buttery, creamy texture and delicate patê-like flavor, foie gras is well-liked. Gavage or forced feeding is used to fatten the liver of the duck or goose. It continues to be a contentious food because of how livers are fattened.

Although the manufacturing of foie gras is prohibited in several nations and U.S. states, it is frequently found in restaurants in countries like France. It costs between $90-$110 per pound.

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Taste the Most Expensive Foods in the World With Help From Spin Genie

Sometimes, it seems as though there are people in this world who live a completely different reality. How can these people even afford such rare and exotic foods? No matter the risk, these foods aren’t just food but prized possessions. 

If you find yourself ever living the high life, at least now you know what delicacies to try out!

Try your luck playing with Spin Genie, and you could be tasting one of the most expensive foods in the world! Or, discover some of our other blogs:

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