People’s understanding of the phrase "expensive food" varies widely. For some it means red salmon; for others truffles. However, there’s actually a whole range of food products that have price tags you would never have imagined were possible.
11. Matsutake Mushrooms
These mushrooms are so rare that their price now reaches as high as $600 for a single kilogram. Matsutake mushrooms are native to Japan, but they also grow in several different Asian countries. However, their number has decreased significantly due to the effects of insects and invasive trees finding their way into the shaded areas in which the mushrooms grow. Because there is no way to cultivate Matsutake mushrooms, there’s a high chance they could disappear altogether in the future.
10. Kopi Luwak Coffee
This coffee is produced in industrial quantities in Indonesia, the Philippines, and in southern India. Kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world. Its cost fluctuates between $250 to $1,200 per kilogram. It’s famous for the very specialized way in which it’s processed.
9. White Pearl Albino Caviar
One kilogram of this caviar costs €8,500 ($9,100). The albino sturgeon is a kind of large fish that lives in the Caspian Sea. The cost of the caviar is so high on account of the fact that the eggs from the albino sturgeon are procured very rarely — only when they’re estimated to be about 100 years old.
8. Swallows’ Nest Soup
The nest of these birds is made almost entirely from their saliva, without any additions of foreign material. Consequently, their nests have become a delicacy in Chinese cooking. The high price of this dish is easily explained: collecting swallows’ nests is a somewhat dangerous occupation. The birds build their nests on sheer cliffs, where the risk of falling off is very high. The cost of this delicacy is thus around $3,000 per kilogram.
The cost of this seasoning can range from $400 to $1,000 per kilogram. This is because saffron grows for only seven days a year in autumn. It’s collected and processed by hand. Moreover, to collect just 1 kg of saffron it’s necessary to pick 300,000 flowers.
6. White Truffles
The high price of these truffles is the result of the highly specific conditions they require in order to grow, as well as the special methods of collecting and preserving them — in addition to their exquisite taste and aroma. In Europe, 1 kg of white truffles costs around €2,000 ($2,100).
5. Ayam Cemani Black Chicken
The Ayam Cemani chicken is bred in Indonesia, but it isn’t exported to different countries because of fears that it could spread bird flu. This breed of poultry is so rare that one chick costs around $200 in Indonesia. And outside the country, this price can reach thousands of dollars. However, in Malaysia the Ayam Cemani is so common that its price is no higher than that of an ordinary chicken.
4. Japanese Wagyu Steaks
Wagyu steaks, made from Japanese beef, are one of the tastiest and most expensive delicacies in the world. The meat has an amazing aroma, the second highest possible score for marbling, and a famous buttery texture. In Japan, the purebred Wagyu bull-calves used to produce the meat are given massages, drink beer, and played classical music. The cost of 1 kg of this kind of meat can be as high as $450.
3. Dry-Cured Iberian Ham
Jamón Ibérico, produced in Spain, is the most expensive kind of ham in the world. In Spain, the Iberian pig is fed exclusively on acorns, and huge areas are marked off for them to graze in. The cost of one kilogram of dry-cured jamon fluctuates around €365 ($392).
2. Moose Cheese
One of the most expensive cheeses in the world is moose cheese, which is produced in only one place: on the Moose House farm in Sweden. Moose milk is required to produce it. Moose cheese is white in color, and its appearance is reminiscent of feta cheese. It costs around €1,000 ($1,074) per kilogram, and it’s made in very limited quantities.
Last but definitely not least is...a banana. But not the naturally grown one you’re thinking of — artist Stephan Brusche has become famous for making unique masterpieces out of this particular fruit. This is art that you really should enjoy before it rots away.
Bonus: weird-shaped fruits
How about a square apple? Or a watermelon that looks like a heart? Fruit shapers (little plastic molds) can make fruit into any shape. As the fruit or vegetable grows, it fills out the mold and adopts the desired shape — and as a result, of course, these products are more expensive than the regular ones.