The Sentinel

Most Expensive Foods in the World

Jan 27, 2023
The spice, nicknamed ‘Red Gold’, is the vivid crimson stigma (or threads) from a crocus flower, and it’s used as a colouring agent in food. Saffron crocuses only flower for a week or two a year in the autumn; harvesting the spice is labour intensive (it’s collected and processed by hand); and each small flower has only three stigma which means it takes around two football pitches of crocuses to create a kilogram of saffron.
Caviar is the pickled roe of the sturgeon fish, and considered one of the world’s great delicacies. It’s tricky to handle and package but, more significantly, it’s incredibly rare. According to the Guinness World Records, the most expensive caviar recorded is from an aged (possibly 100 year-old!) albino beluga sturgeon whose white caviar sold for about $34,500 per kilogram
Now considered a luxury, oysters haven’t always been the food of the filthy rich. But overfishing and pollution have had a catastrophic effect on oyster stocks and scarcity has bumped up their value.
White Truffle
They can’t be cultivated or grown – although folk have tried for generations to farm the truffles, they can still only be sourced in the wild. It is this unpredictability, along with the lengths people go to to locate and harvest them, which results in their hefty price tag.
Iberico ham
The classification of Iberico ham is extremely strict, with ‘black label’ ham considered to be the very best – produced from pure-bred Iberian pigs, roaming oak forests and feasting on acorns. On top of that, the ham is cured for a lengthy 36 months!
Wagyu beef
Wagyu simply translates as ‘Japanese Beef’, and it can come from any of four different breeds of Japanese cow. The meat is intensely marbled with fat, which renders down during the cooking process to make the meat tender, moist and melt in the mouth.
Kopi Luwak coffee
Bags of kopi coffee selling for up to $700 per kg, it’s certainly worthy of its place on this list. Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is made from coffee beans eaten, partly digested and then defecated by the Asian palm civet or civet cat
Foie gras
Foie gras is a pricey pâté made from duck or goose liver that has been fattened (to up to ten times its normal size). The flavour is rich, buttery and delicate and the product expensive but the birds pay a higher price than we ever will – the geese and ducks are force-fed corn through feeding tubes.