Thursday, July 31, 2008

world's most expensive food

1. Gold

If you thought an expensive commodity like gold is in vogue only for its use in jewellery and investment purposes, think again. It is also the most expensive food in the world!
According to a list of the world's priciest foods, compiled by Fortune Small Business, a group magazine of business publication Fortune, edible gold leaf is the most expensive, at a price tag of a stunning $15,000 per pound. According to Fortune Small Business, a part of global media conglomerate CNN-Time Warner group, gold is a mineral that is safe to eat, although it is not an essential part of the human diet. On edible gold leaf, the report quoting a store owner said, "Bakers and bartenders use the precious metal to make dazzling treats for holidays and other special occasions. . . For elaborate parties, people add gold sprinkles to glasses of champagne or signature martinis."
2. Truffles
Edible gold leaf is followed by white truffles as the second costliest food with a price tag of $6,000 and above, per pound. A truffle is a valuable fruit of a group subterranean ascomycete fungi of the genus tuber. Once considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the high price of truffles is 'due to their unpredictable growth habits.'
The report further added, ". . . no one has been able to domesticate them, relying instead on trained dogs and pigs to sniff them out. . . . Truffle hunters, known as truffeculteurs, work alone; their proven locations are closely guarded secrets."
"White winter truffles, also called Alba truffles after their region of origin, are the priciest, commanding $6,000 to $10,000 per pound (prices vary year-to-year based on availability and quality)," the magazine noted.
3. Caviar
Caviar is the third most expensive food at $1,550 and above, per pound. Caviar or the salted fish roe is 'synonymous with luxury.' Beluga caviar is considered to be the best and is priced at around $4,000 a pound.
The highest prices paid are for the Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga varieties. The Caspian Sea is considered the source of the finest caviar in the world.
4. Saffron
India has a place in the world's most expensive food list. Saffron, the most expensive spice which comes mainly from India, is named as the fourth priciest food in the world. It's a spice from the flower of the saffron crocus.
Saffron has a bitter taste and a hay-like fragrance. It also has medicinal properties. Saffron is also grown in Spain, Iran and Greece. It takes about an acre of land and "hundreds of thousands of flowers to produce one pound of saffron threads." It is priced at $1,500 per pound.
5. Kobe beef
At $150 per pound, Kobe beef is the fifth most expensive food in the world. Kobe beef is made from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Japan. Kobe beef is known for its flavour and tenderness.

6. Civet
Civet coffee is the sixth most expensive food. Rare and exclusive, Sumatran civet cats eat the finest beans at the Sumatran coffee plantations. The beans are collected from the cats' droppings by the natives.
Also known as Kopi Luwak, it is considered to be the world's finest coffee. It has a delicate flavour as it has been partially fermented by passing through the digestive system of the Civet. About 500 kg this coffee is made each year. It is priced at $110 per pound.
7. Vanilla
Vanilla, most commonly used in ice-creams, is the world's 7th most expensive food. Madagascar and Indonesia are the largest producers. Vanilla is expensive as its cultivation requires extensive labour.
Vanilla, the magazine says is second only to saffron in terms of the priciest spices. Vanilla is used in both commercial and domestic purposes including baking, perfumes and aroma therapy. The price per gallon of vanilla extract starts from $260.
8. Foie
Foie gras, the 8th most expensive food, is a non-vegetarian delicacy. A duck or goose liver is fattened by force-feeding. Animal rights activists strongly protest against this practice, as geese and ducks are force-fed corn through feeding tubes. The food is considered to be rich, buttery, and delicate.
The French are the biggest connoisseurs of this delicacy. In France, it is a traditional dish for festive occasions, particularly around Christmas and the New Year. Its price starts at $50 per pound.

9. Tigerfish
The ninth most expensive food, the tigerfish, is quite popular in China. In 2007, a restaurant in China bought a rare giant golden tigerfish for $75,000, believing the fish to be an omen of good luck! The fish is priced at $714 per pound.

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