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The World’s Most Expensive Ingredients

by Sana Cashmiri

Sometimes, when you have a little extra money to spend, or you just love food, and have hours to spare experimenting, it can be a delight sampling some of the world’s most expensive and exclusive ingredients. Have a look at this list to see if you’ve used any before.


Saffron is more expensive than gold, by the pound, because of its labour-intensive harvesting process. It takes about one whole football field of saffron flowers to produce one pound of saffron. But because saffron is so flavourful, it is usually sold in small portions.

Hawaiian Kona Nigari Water:

Known as the most expensive water on earth, this water comes from 2000 feet under the Hawaiian ocean. Since it is taken from so far under the surface, the water claims to be free of pollution and any other form of contamination and is supposedly good for your body and skin. It is hugely popular in Japan and costs about $402 per 750ml.

Alba White Italian Truffles:

The rarity of these truffles adds to their value as they’re only available for a few months a year in the Piedmont areas of Italy. They must be hunted for by specially trained truffle-pigs or truffle-dogs and cost up to $2000 for a pound.

Wagyu Beef:

Wagyu beef comes from Japanese cows that are famous for their high levels of fat marbling which is what adds to the flavour. Because the fat has a low melting point, it melts into the meat once cooked, making it extremely juicy. The best Wagyu is said to have come from Kobe and only 3000 cows are certified Kobe cows per year. While a pound of normal Wagyu would be around $100, Kobe certified beef is around $300 per pound.

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale:

Traditional balsamic vinegar actually takes 12 years to produce and is protected under the European Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) system. A special grape called Trebbanio is grown and harvested in the Emilia Romagna area of Italy then those grapes are boiled over an open fire and stored in wooden boxes for up to 25 years. 100ml of this can be at least $180.

Yubari King Melons:

Grown in the Yubari region of Japan, these melons are a cross between two cantaloupe types and are often given as gifts in pairs. The melon can auction for up to at least $12000.

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Here we have a Musk Melon, from the cantaloupe family. I didn't really think too much of it as we popped it in the trolley at the local supermarket (other than how expensive it was, but most fruit is costly here) However, Andy picked it up and highlighted the intricate pattern on it's skin and just how 'round' it was. They are similar to the Japanese Yubari King Melons, which are revered- one fetched £21,500 in 2017! Fruit in general is seen as a luxury here and department stores boast exorbitant gift baskets with what we would view as 'ordinary' fruit- apples, bananas etc. It serves as a reminder that South Korea was very poor until very recently- fruit being a luxury that many could not afford…. talking of Korean 'luxuries' don't get me started on Spam!! #seoulkorea #seoul_surprises #muskmelon #melon #fruit #southkorea #yubarikingmelon #yubarimelon #cantaloupe #cantaloupemelon #seoulliving

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Moose House Cheese:

The most exclusive of cheeses can only be made by three moose found in Sweden who are milked in May and September. They produce 660 pounds of cheese per season that sells for about $400 – $500 a pound.


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