The Most Expensive Ingredients in the World

Have you ever wondered how expensive saffron is or how much the world’s most expensive truffle costs? Then you’re in luck, because this chart of the world’s most expensive ingredients from How To Cook Recipes will answer those questions and more. You’ll also learn which animal the most expensive food comes from and which luxury metal is edible and can be found adorning pricey desserts.

Japan is known for having very high standards when it comes to food, so it comes as no surprise that eight out of the 35 ingredients on this list are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. Read on to find an illustrated list of the most expensive foods and their impressive price tags. Have you ever cooked a meal using one of these luxury ingredients?

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The Most Expensive Ingredients in the World

What Is the World’s Most Expensive Ingredient?

The most expensive ingredient in the world is Almas caviar, which is priced at $25,000 per kilogram. Almas caviar is produced in Iran and is the most expensive food because it comes from very rare albino beluga sturgeon that are between 70 and 100 years old. There are very few albino sturgeon left in the world, and they can be found swimming in the Caspian Sea near Iran. This (expensive caviar) comes in pricey packaging as well: It’s sold in special containers made of pure gold.

Why is caviar so expensive? The most expensive caviar tends to come from older fish, like the beluga sturgeon, as it is said to have a better taste and aroma when sourced from an older fish. It is difficult to find fish of an advanced age in the wild, leading to a much higher demand than supply and making caviar the most expensive food in the world.

The 10 Most Expensive Ingredients in the World

  1. Almas Caviar (Iran): $25,000 per kilogram
  2. Edible Gold: $23,000 per kilogram
  3. Yartsa Gunbu Fungus (Tibet): $20,000 per kilogram
  4. Yubari King Melon (Japan): $12,000 per kilogram
  5. Absheron Saffron (Azerbaijan): $11,000 per kilogram
  6. Ruby Roman Grapes (Japan): $10,900 per kilogram
  7. Red Swiftlet Nest (China): $10,000 per kilogram
  8. Beluga Caviar (Iran): $8,500 per kilogram
  9. Peri Bali Honey (Turkey): $7,000 per kilogram
  10. Alba White Truffle (Italy): $6,000 per kilogram

What Is the Most Expensive Meat in the World?

The most expensive meat in the world is Matsusaka beef, with a price of $500 per kilogram. It is followed closely by Kobe beef at $450 per kilogram. Both of these cuts are Japanese beef, commonly referred to as Wagyu beef, and have heavy marbling, which adds to their incredible flavor and richness. Why is Matsusaka beef the most expensive Wagyu cut? Matsusaka beef has to meet strict standards, with the calves hand-selected and registered by the Matsusaka Beef Management System. Only virgin female cows can be used, and the calves are raised for around three years until they reach maturity. Only a select number of cattle qualify each year, which also helps drive up the price of this expensive beef.

What Is the World’s Most Expensive Fruit?

The most expensive fruit in the world is the Yubari King melon, which can cost up to $12,000 per kilogram. Grown in Japan, the Yubari King melon is a cantaloupe cultivar and must be perfectly round and have a very smooth rind to earn a top grade. Japanese people are known for their luxury fruit culture and will give Yubari King melons as a gift.

In fact, all of the fruits that made our list of the most expensive ingredients are from Japan. Japanese Ruby Roman grapes can cost $10,900 per kilogram and are four times the size of regular grapes. Each grape in the bunch must weigh at least 20 grams and have a sugar content of 18% or higher. Due to these strict requirements, only 25,000 bunches of grapes were able to qualify in 2020. The Densuke watermelon of Japan is another luxury fruit that can cost up to $5,000 per kilogram. It is the world’s most expensive watermelon, known for its nearly black outer skin, and commonly given as a gift in Japan.

Would you ever try expensive caviar as an appetizer or pour Peri Bali honey over a tasty dessert?

The Most Expensive Ingredients in the World

Ingredient Country the Ingredient Is Found or Primarily Used In Price per Kilogram
1 Almas Caviar Iran $25,000
2 Edible Gold $23,000
3 Yartsa Gunbu Fungus Tibet $20,000
4 Yubari King Melon Japan $12,000
5 Absheron Saffron Azerbaijan $11,000
6 Ruby Roman Grapes Japan $10,900
7 Red Swiftlet Nest China $10,000
8 Beluga Caviar Iran $8,500
9 Peri Bali Honey Turkey $7,000
10 Alba White Truffle Italy $6,000
11 Densuke Watermelon Japan $5,000
12 Périgord Black Truffle France $2,500
13 Matsutake Mushroom Japan $2,000
13 White Swiftlet Nest China $2,000
15 Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (Aceto Balsamic Vinegar) Italy $1,800
16 Kopi Luwak Beans (Wild-Collected) Indonesia $1,300
16 Madagascar Vanilla Madagascar $1,300
18 Pule Cheese Serbia $1,000
18 Fennel Pollen Italy $1,000
20 La Bonnotte Potatoes France $600
21 Kona Nigari Water United States (Hawaii) $550
22 Matsusaka Beef Japan $500
22 Abalone China $500
24 Kobe Beef Japan $450
25 Bluefin Tuna Japan $440
26 Shark Fin China $400
27 Gooseneck Barnacles Spain and Portugal $300
27 Argan Oil Morocco $300
29 Hop Shoots Europe $280
30 Fugu (Poisonous Pufferfish) Japan $265
31 Jamon Iberico de Bellota Spain $250
32 Foie Gras France $200
33 Caciocavallo Podolico Italy $150
33 Mahleb Middle East $150
35 Culatello di Zibello Italy $125


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This page was last updated by Megan Miller