$100 Melons and More of the World's Most Expensive Ingredients
Some ingredients are simply specialties in the region, i.e. the Yubari King melons in Japan. The melons are so highly valued that they're often given in a pair as a gift to employer or host. Some ingredients are limited, like the white truffle, which is grown only in the forests of northern Italy for a short period. Or, the swiftlet nest in China is also limited. The nests, which dissolve in broth to form a "gelatinous" texture, take two months for a male bird to produce.
But more than that, some are just weird: the "civet" coffee is produced from the dung of the civet, a cat-like animal in Asia or Africa. That's right, the coffee beans have passed through the civet's digestive system, fermented in digestive acids, and are said to produce a less bitter coffee. The price? $1 per gram — or a mere $500 per pound. We'll stick with Starbucks, thanks.