Food is one of life’s pleasures. As a result, the rich have been seeking out more and more extravagant foods since the start of human civilization, which remains as true in the present as it was in the past. For proof, look no further than some of the most expensive foods that can be found in the modern world.
Ayam Cemani – $200 per kilogram
Ayam Cemani is a very curious kind of chicken that can be found in Indonesia. Its exact origins are unknown, with some speculating that it might have been brought to the region by Dutch sailors. Regardless, those who see the Ayam Cemani should have no problems recognizing it from that point forward, seeing as how the $200 per kilogram bird is black from head to toe because of hyper-pigmentation.
Dry-Cured Iberian Ham – $392 per kilogram
Ham is one of the most common foods that can be found out there. However, some hams are much more prized than others, which in turn, means that some hams are much more expensive than others. For instance, dry-cured Iberian ham can fetch $392 for just a single kilogram, which speaks volumes about the regard in which it is held.
Saffron – $400 per kilogram
Historically speaking, spices were very expensive in medieval Europe because of transportation issues. That has changed for most spices in modern times, but saffron isn’t one of them because it is made from the stigmas and styles of the saffron crocus that must be collected over the course of seven days in a single year. Some grades of saffron can sell for more than others, so much so that $400 for a kilogram isn’t unknown.
Wagyu Steak – $450 per kilogram
Wagyu refers to the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle. However, it is interesting to note that Wagyu beef is sometimes sold using the region name rather than the breed name, thus explaining Kobe beef and Matsusaka beef. Regardless, certain cuts of certain Wagyu cattle are so valued that they can fetch $450 for a kilogram.
Matsutake Mushrooms – $600 per kilogram
Matsutake mushrooms sprout in a limited number of locations. Even worse, interested parties face considerable competition from both local connoisseurs and wild animals, which limits the matsutake mushrooms that make it to market. Still, some examples have been known to go for $600 per kilogram.
Moose Cheese – $1,074 per kilogram
Generally speaking, most people will be most familiar with cheese made using cow’s milk. However, it is perfect possible to make cheese from the milk of other animals as well, as shown by the existence of moose cheese. Look-wise, it bears a resemblance to feta cheese made using either sheep’s milk or a mix of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk, but it is its rarity that makes it capable of selling for something along the lines of $1,074 per kilogram.
Kopi Luwak – $1200 per kilogram
Kopi luwak is very expensive coffee that comes from the Asian palm civet. In short, the animals eat coffee cherries, digest them, and then poop out the reminder. Despite this, kopi luwak has been known to sell for as high as $1,200 per kilogram.
White Truffles – $2100 per kilogram
There are a number of reasons for why white truffles can go for as much as $2,100 per kilogram. For example, white truffles need to grow on the roots of host trees, which is but one of the limiting factors that prevent interested parties from churning them out in huge volumes. Likewise, preserving white truffles is complicated even with modern techniques and technologies. On top of this, there is even the competitiveness of white truffle auctions.
Bird’s Nest – $6,600 per kilogram
Bird’s nest soup is made using the solidified saliva of certain swiftlet species, which use it to make nests. The nests are prized ingredients for Chinese cuisine, meaning that their prices have soared because of the booming Chinese economy of recent decades. On top of this, getting the nests is very, very difficult because the relevant species make their homes on cliffs, which explains why the rarest nests can go for $6,600 per kilogram.
Strottarga Bianco – $100,000 per kilogram
Demand has caused a huge drop in the number of the wild sturgeon that produce caviar. Unsurprisingly, this means that there has been a similar drop in the number of albino sturgeon, which is a distinction that matters for people who want to get their hands on the most expensive caviar out there. Strottarga Bianco goes a step further by sprinkling the caviar of albino sturgeon with 22-carat gold flakes, with the result that it goes for more than $100,000 per kilogram.