- Food and Cooking
What are the World's Most Expensive Ingredients? Here are 10 of them
We all know that high end ingredients lead to higher prices but you might be surprised to learn about these ten ingredients that are among the world's most expensive. If you can, you might want to try a few of these and maybe a few you don't! Edible gold and Kobe beef are well known for their high prices but what about the most expensive coffee in the world or vodka filtered with precious stones?
1. Jamon Iberico de Bellota
Introducing you to the world's most expensive ham. Produced in Spain and Portugal from black pigs and cured for two years this Iberian ham is said to be the best ham in the world. After the curing, the meat is a dark red color that is a little sweet, a little nutty and will melt in your mouth. If you want to experience this meat treasure a 15 pound bone-in Iberian ham will run you about $1,280. That is a little more than $5 an ounce and one expensive ham bone for the dog!
2. Blowfish (Fugu)
This ingredient is both expensive and dangerous! Parts of the blowfish or puffer fish can be highly poisonous and legally only allowed to be served by highly-trained and licensed chefs. This dish called Fugu Sashimi is banned in the European Union but is a long standing delicacy in Japan. If you are interested in the risk and hopefully just the taste experience a small plate will set you back around $99.
3. To'ak Chocolate
If you want to try something indulgent then the prestigious To'ak Chocolate bar is for you. This 1.5 ounce bar cost between $260 and $300 so it is not your standard candy bar! To'ak is made from cacao beans that are harvested from "original" trees that can actually trace their lineage to provide pure cacao taste that is unlike any other chocolate. The bar is made from 81% cacao and even includes a full cacao bean presented in the center of the bar. How do you enjoy a $300 chocolate? The owner of To'ak says with a glass of quality whiskey or red wine.
4. Ayam Cemani Chicken
This chicken, native to Indonesia, has been nicknamed the Lamborghini of chickens and the "Goth" chicken due to its high value and unusual features. The Ayam Cenani is a naturally all black chicken crown to foot, inside and out. This occurs because they have a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation that results in black coloring. These birds are thought to have magical powers and are highly sought after because the coloring goes through to the meat, organs and bones. This "goth" chicken dinner will cost you about $2500 a bird, if you can find one!
5. Lambda Olive Oil
If you have ever looked at the prices of extra virgin olive oil and thought they were a little crazy then hold on because this olive oil will cost you around $75 for a 500ml bottle! Lambda is a Greek owned company that produces a luxury olive oil and packages the oil in stylized bottles and boxes. The oil is award winning and is considered to be the first luxury olive oil in the world. Lambda oil is known to have a distinctive fruit flavor and low acidity. Made from Koroneiki olives that are pressed into oil the same day they are picked Lambda is sold online through high end retailers.
6. Ruby Roman Grapes
Introducing you to the most expensive grapes in the world, the Ruby Roman grapes from Japan. These grapes are each about the size of a ping pong ball and are grown in Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture region and are extremely rare. Sometimes only one bunch per year will reach the premium class standard and due to this the price is often $4000 for a bunch with about 30 grapes which makes each grape worth about $110.
7. Kopi Luwak Coffee
If you have ever thought that Starbuck's coffee was pricey wait till you price out this Indonesian coffee called Kopi Luwak. This coffee is the most expensive in the world at a cost of $200-300 per kilo, or about $5.70-8.50 an ounce. This is reported to be the world's most flavorful coffee but the catch to this coffee bean is that it is basically cat poop coffee! The wild civit cats of Indonesia prowl at night and eat the coffee cherries but their bodies cannot digest the coffee bean and these are then in their droppings which are collected by workers.
If you choose to try this coffee be sure to purchase only certified wild products that are naturally sourced. Unfortunately,there are those that are capturing the civit's and keeping them in cages to harvest from them and treating the animals cruelly.
8. Alba White Truffle
Most foodies know about truffle oil and especially white truffles for their price and flavor but the most sought after white truffle is the Alba White Truffle that grows in the Piedmont Region of North Italy. These fungus growths will set you back about $200 an ounce and besides their desired flavor the high price is due to their unpredictable growing habits. No one has been able to domesticate these prized delicacies and people rely on trained dogs and pigs to sniff them out.
9. Nakazawa Milk
This milk from Japan is sold at a cost of $43 per quart and is said to have high levels of melatonin that will help relieve stress and improve sleep. These higher levels of melatonin are the result of the cows being milked only once per week which increases the melatonin naturally and the milk is bottled within six hours of extraction. At this price this is probably not the milk you want over your morning cereal!
10. Diva Vodka
The world's most expensive vodka is a wheat based vodka that is triple filtered through Nordic birch charcoal and then through precious and semi-precious stones. The price will vary depending on the stones used in filtering and the stone content but a single bottle has sold as high as $1,060,000. Each bottle also contains a "hand filled wand of Swarovski crystals" that can be saved as a keepsake. The Diva Vodka is available in three colors: blue, pink and green.
Are you ready to try some of these expensive ingredients? Personally I would like to try a few but think I might pass on some as well. Of course, you could start with a few expensive items that are a little more available such as Madagascar vanilla, saffron or Bluefin tuna. These aren't cheap but not as crazy as a few of these ingredients!