Many food connoisseurs will do whatever it takes to get their hands on the most exotic, delicious, and extravagant dishes, even if that means paying a small fortune. The most luxurious foods are creations by top chefs or are rare and in high demand. Below is a list of 10 of the most luxurious foods from around the world.
10. Wagyu Beef (approx. $200 per lb)
Wagyu — translated means Japanese cow — is one of the most expensive meats on the market. It has marbled fat, which makes the meat extremely tender and almost buttery. According to Business Insider, the price for a cut of wagyu depends on its grade; the higher the grade, the more expensive the meat. The grade is based on how much meat it contains and the quality of the marbled fat. The cows themselves are bred and raised in a specific way to yield the best meat possible. They are typically fed a specific diet of rice, wheat, and hay on fattening farms. High-grade wagyu meat can go for up to $200 per pound, with the rarest steak — the olive wagyu — going for around $300 per pound.
9. Pule Donkey Cheese (approx. $600 per lb)
This cheese is the very definition of rare and exclusive. It’s considered the most expensive cheese in the world and is only produced by a single farm in Serbia. This farm is one of only three areas that protect endangered Balkan donkeys. The process of making this cheese is long and difficult because the donkeys that produce the milk don’t produce very much. Pule cheese has a crumbly texture with a rich taste. It is extremely unique, and the price certainly reflects that.
8. Japanese Matsutake Mushroom (approx. $1,000 per lb)
Matsutake mushrooms have a distinct taste — often described as autumnal or even spicy — with a meaty texture. According to The Guardian, the price of these mushrooms is dependent on the size of the crop. For example, at the peak of the season in October, a set of mushrooms was selling for approximately 30,000 yen (over $200) online. But, according to an article from Fine Dining Lovers, a pound of matsutake can go for around $1,000.
7. Spanish Iberian Ham (approx. $4,500 for a leg)
Iberian Ham (or Jamon Iberico) is one of the most expensive meats in the world. Coming from the rear leg of the pig, it is a staple in Spanish cuisine. This meat’s high price tag is because it is only produced in a few areas of Spain and Portugal, and it is expensive to raise the pigs. According to Business Insider, a leg of this meat can cost as much as $4,500.
6. Densuke Watermelons (approx. $200 per melon)
These watermelons are much more expensive than common watermelons because they are produced in limited amounts. Because they are so rare — they are only grown in Japan — they typically go for around $200 for a single watermelon. Their dark color sets them apart from other watermelons, as well as a different and sweeter flavor profile than traditional watermelons.
5. Beluga Caviar (approx. $5,000 to $10,000 per kg)
As one of the most expensive caviars in the world, Beluga caviar is named from the sturgeon it comes from, which is the Huso Huso or Beluga sturgeon. These eggs differ from other eggs in their color and size; they are a light gray to black color and are larger in size than many other types of caviar. Beluga caviar is described as creamy and buttery in texture, with a briny and nutty flavor. While typically this type of caviar can range in price from $5,000 to $10,000 per kilogram (around two pounds).
4. Saffron (approx. $10,000 per kg)
Saffron is known for its bright red color, the yellow stain it leaves behind, and the fact that it is the most expensive spice in the world. It is native to Asia Minor, and can be used in skin and hair products in addition to food. Harvesting saffron is very particular — each flower must be hand picked and it takes thousands of them to produce an ounce of saffron. Top chefs around the world love getting their hands on this spice to give their dishes extra character. While real saffron can cost over $10,000 per kilogram (around two pounds).
3. Yubari King Melons (approx. $200 per melon)
Similar to the Densuke Watermelons, these Japanese Yubari King Melons are among the most expensive fruits in the world. Considered a hybrid between two types of cantaloupe, they are grown in a particular soil and require constant care. They typically sell for around $200 per melon. Grown in the province of Hokkaido, these melons are handled with extreme care and are known for their sweetness and flavor.
2. Italian White Alba Truffle (approx. $4,000 per lb)
Truffles are very rare and deemed a delicacy. White Truffles (a particular species named tuber magnatum) are among the most unique and most expensive. These truffles have a very particular taste, and chefs handle them with high caution due to their market value. White truffles grow in the forests near Alba, a town in Italy. These white truffles come at a high price point, around $4,000 per pound.
1. Edible Gold Leaf (approx. $15,000 per lb)
Many dishes across the world top luxury lists and showcase these beautiful edible gold leaves. These decorations are the ultimate statement of class and elegance. Gold is edible, but it does not provide any essential nutrition. This flashy and classy decoration is a high-priority item at special events and upscale holiday parties.
Where Can I Find These Foods?
Because many of these foods are so rare, they can be difficult to find. However, some are easier to get your hands on than others. For example, while Densuke Watermelons are only grown in Japan, they have been sold in other countries such as Canada. Items like saffron and wagyu beef are easier to purchase because they are so widely used. Some other items on this list, such as edible gold or Beluga caviar, can be purchased online but are in high demand and can sell out quickly.
The most luxurious foods are those that are rare, expensive, and hard to get. They’re often an indulgence or a treat and are enjoyed by those who can afford them. They feature high price tags and are packed with flavor for chefs to include in their most elaborate dishes. In addition, they offer a taste of the most unique foods from a specific region. These foods are sure to shock your taste buds and your bank account.