Every so often, we hear about some restaurant that’s serving an obscenely expensive dish for no other reason than to get some publicity. If you want to drop $450 on a pizza topped with lobster and caviar you’re more than welcome to. But these hodgepodges (which also usually involve things like gold leaf, which is actually not that expensive) are nothing but a bunch of expensive things thrown together, and while they may be expensive dishes, they’re not expensive individual food items. Which begs the question: What are the most expensive foods on earth?
Beluga caviar, which is actually illegal in most parts of the world because the beluga sturgeon is endangered, sells for around $4,000 per pound. True Kobe beef, which is the most expensive (legal) meat on earth, is appearing on a handful of menus across the country; a four-ounce steak at Las Vegas’ SW Steakhouse sells for $220. If you’re in the market for a fresh white Alba truffle, the most prized of all truffles, you can also expect to pay up to $260 for a tiny one-ouncer. A fresh Japanese matsutake mushroom picked at the beginning of the season can sell for upwards of $200 each. And while saffron is a fairly common ingredient, a very small amount goes a long way; should you decide to buy a pound of the prized crocus stigma it might cost you up to $10,000 for the high-quality stuff, making it pound-for-pound the most expensive food on earth.