Many high-end foods, the kinds you only find on menus at fancy, expensive restaurants, didn’t used to cost a lot at all. In fact, some of the most expensive and luxurious foods on earth were once so cheap that even the poor could afford them — and even sometimes had so much of them that they ended up refusing to eat more.
There are several reasons why foods that are expensive today once cost a lot less — changing tastes is one — but the most common one is simple supply and demand. Some foods that used to be abundant are now scarce for various reasons, often environmental; when they were plentiful, the upper classes eschewed them because they were considered peasant food, and now that they’re harder to come, they're seen as prestigious and worth any price.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of foods that were once considered luxury items, reserved only for the wealthy, that are today inexpensive and abundant. Largely due to mass production enabled by the industrial revolution and a global economy, items like sugar, chocolate, spices, beef, and tropical fruits are now cheap and available at every food store.
Read on to learn about 10 foods that were once far less expensive than they are now. And who knows – in a hundred years, foods like bananas, chocolate, coffee, honey, and maple syrup might be much more difficult to come by then they are now, and their prices might skyrocket. In the meantime, we’ll be crossing our fingers that the price of white truffles drops to an affordable place.