The multi-faceted nature of food ingredients plays a pivotal role when it comes to food preparation. Besides adding complexity and depth in food texture and complexity to food, they contribute to health, cultural, and historical aspects of the cuisines consumed around the world.
While some ingredients are averagely priced, some may cost more than a regular monthly shopping. Below we discuss some of the most expensive food ingredients chefs use to prepare the world’s most the world’s most expensive dishes. 1. Alma Caviar
This pearl white caviar is an extremely rare type of caviar widely known for its smooth texture. Those lucky enough to taste this delicacy say its taste is similar to Beluga caviar but with a rich, creamy taste.
Alma caviar is eaten as spread or garnish because of its distinct flavour of nuts, butter, and brine. Scarcity is the reason for the exorbitant price of this delicacy.
One out of 6000 Albino sturgeons produce these small-grain eggs. Besides, they have a super long spawning cycle, which is usually once every 70 to 100 years. Consequently, the supply is extremely low, with only 10kg being produced annually.
Moreover, expensive packaging coupled with declining populations of albino sturgeons also contribute to exceptionally high prices. You will fork out $25,000 to $35,000 per kg to taste this delicacy.2. Edible Gold
Gold is popular with accessories but is also a key ingredient in transforming ordinary dishes into extraordinary culinary delights. Essentially, Gold flakes and leaves are thin sheets of gold, usually 1/8000 mm thick, used for consumption purposes.
The 22 or 24-karat gold is common in gold-coated lavish douche burgers, sushi wrapping, and gold-layered, authentic sweets. Edible gold has no actual taste because it doesn’t dissolve in the mouth.
However, it has a texture food experts and critics alike describe as slightly crunchy. It’s important to note that you may need to accompany the gold leaf with water for easy swallowing. There is also a huge controversy about its nutritional benefits because this ingredient is indigestible.
Interestingly, edible gold is a classy meal that has gained a huge fan base, with more and more people not minding paying $14 for 25mg.3. White Alba Truffles
Alba truffles, also known as white truffles, are one of the priciest truffles in the food industry. Truffles are a type of edible spores produced by underground fungus.
Usually, shavings of this ingredient are sprinkled on finished dishes like risotto, pasta, or scrambled eggs to make a strong, earthy flavour with a hint of garlic and oak.
Scarcity is the main reason white truffles are some of the world’s most expensive food ingredients. For a start, the fungus grows in limited areas, mainly in Italy’s Piedmont region. Besides, this fungus only grows under the roots of certain trees and requires trained pigs and dogs to find them.
Because their growth cannot be replicated in artificial settings, the price shoots up to 250$ per ounce. 4. Wagyu/Kobe Beef
A pound of this most sought-after beef can dwarf your grocery list in price. Kobe originates from Japan and is only harvested from a special breed of cattle known as Wagyu. The cattle consume a grain-rich diet to fatten them and produce a tender texture. Quality and authentic Kobe beef is tender with a high marbling rating.
Often hailed as the king of the meat world, fatty wagyu beef has a hint of fish taste and melts in your mouth if cooked correctly.
Why is it so expensive? Wagyu beef only comes from one region — Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan. The quality standards are so strict such that only 3000 to 4000 cattle qualify for the Kobe market each year.
This delicious but pricey indulgence will cost you between $300 and $500 per pound.5. Saffron
This crown jewel of spices is a common ingredient in Moroccan, Iranian, and Indian dishes. It has a slightly bitter, floral, and honey-like flavour. Recipes that include the aromatic goodness of saffron include paella, bouillabaisse, and risotto.
Saffron consists of red stigmas harvested from saffron crocus flowers, then dried and dehydrated. You’ll need 170,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron.
In addition to that the stigmas are hand-harvested using tweezers for six weeks a year, the reason this ingredient is expensive.
You need 6$-10$ per gram of saffron to taste this spice.
The most expensive food ingredients in the world include alma caviar, edible gold, white alba truffles, wagyu beef, and saffron. Their outrageous prices can be attributed to high demand and scarcity. Consider including one of these ingredients in your recipe, even if it’s once, and let your friends know how the experience was.