Finding the perfect ingredients to make the most delicious recipe can give you a hard time, and cooks know this best. Aside from being hard to find in some areas, ingredients can sometimes turn out to be quite costly.
Here is a list of the most expensive ingredients in the world:
- Saffron – is a herb used in many Asian and European cuisines, having a distinctive flavor that adds to the dish. Producing edible and fine saffron takes hard work and meticulous labor. This is why the price of this herb can go up to $9.000 per kilo. Fortunately most recipes only need a quarter of a teaspoon or less.
- White truffles – this ingredient grows under the soil at the base of oak trees and can be found during the autumn. Unfortunately, the fungus cannot be harvested, therefore the growing spots are secretly guarded. Initially, people used pigs to track down truffles, but as it turned out, pigs also ate them. A kilo of white truffles can go up to $6000 and even more. White truffles are used for pasta, meats, risotto’s, eggs and to infuse olive oil, giving the dishes a very distinctive exquisite taste and aroma.
- Kopi Luwak – this type of coffee does belong to the list of most expensive ingredients because of its start-up price of around $3000 for a pound. This coffee is considered to be one of the smoothest, rarest and most flavored coffees in the entire world. It has a rather unusual way of being produced. The beans grow inside a fruit, as usual, but at a second stage the fruit is given to eat to a type of raccon (Palm Civet). The racoon processes only the fruit, the undigested beans pass through its digestive system and are later collected, cleaned and roasted as regular coffee beans. The stomach of Palm Civets feature natural enzymes that enter the beans and allow them to release when brewed 25 unreachable flavors.
- Matcha green tea powder – matcha is a delicate ground green tea used for baking, making drinks, flavoring ice cream and other desserts. It is rich in caffeine and antioxidants and is usually sold in small quantities of around 100g. The price per kilo varies between $180 - $210.
- Matsutake Mushrooms – these types of mushrooms used to be reasonably priced until they became a rarity to the point of facing extinction in Japan. They have a spicy strong flavor mixed with a meaty texture. Their price starts at around $1000 per kilo.
- Almas caviar – this type of caviar is considered one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, mostly because it’s really hard to come by and therefore expensive when available. The price for a tin can vary from $1000 to $10.000.
- Kobe beef – the process of feeding berr to the cattle and massaging them in order to develop a different type of meat started in Japan and expanded over the years. Although prices may vary, the real Kobe beef from Japan costs around $500.
- Vanillin – although you might be a little surprised to see vanilla on the list of the most expensive ingredients, I assure you this ingredient does belong here. Vanillin is the black powder extracted from the vanilla pod and a vital ingredient for many desserts such as cakes, ice-creams, candies and teas, giving them the perfect aroma and scent. The real spice can cost around $3500-4000 per pound, while a bottle of so called vanilla extract is only a few bucks.
All in all, keep in mind that prices might vary depending on the area you are living in and if the ingredient is indeed natural from the area or not. These most expensive ingredients can turn out to be quite cheap if you are buying only the flavors (e.g.: vanillin) and not the essence.