7 Most Expensive Foods in the World


If the price of arugula makes you want to cry, perhaps this isn’t the slideshow for you. Click through to check out some of the world’s most expensive foods, and why they have such a steep price tag.

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1. Vanilla

Price: $7/ounce

Why does it cost so much? More labor goes into producing vanilla, an orchid, than any agricultural product, for one thing. It takes years, and meticulous care, to produce the beans.

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2. Yubari Melon

Price: Up to $26,000 a pair, but can be purchased for about $50-$150 in Japanese department stores.

Why does it cost so much? Well, for one thing, the melons, are only grown in Yubari, Japan. They are a delicacy, and status symbol, in the country.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. Kopi Luwak Coffee

Price: $100-$600/pound

Why does it cost so much? The unique method that it’s made: civets eat coffee berries, they pass through their digestive track, and then washed, dried and roasted. This method is also quite time consuming. Apparently, the civet’s stomach enzymes are the key to the delicious taste here, but I’ll take their word on it — no sample for me, please!

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Matsutake Mushrooms

Price: Up to $2,000/kilogram

Why does it cost so much? Though they grown  in other parts of the world, the Japanese version of the matsutake mushrom are exceptionally hard to find. A parasite has ravaged the pine trees the mushrooms like to host on. Today, Japan harvests less than 1,000 tons of the fungus every year.

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5. Donkey Cheese

Price: $600-$700/lb.

Why does it cost so much? The semi-hard cheese  is only made from the milk of 100 donkeys in the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Serbia. The donkeys’ high-quality milk makes this cheese the costliest in the world.  And don’t expect to find it at your local gourmet food shop — the stuff is available through pre-order only.

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6. Saffron

Price: $500-$5,000/lb

Why does it cost so much? The most expensive spice in the world, saffron is made from the dried stigmas of the purple crocus flower. With only 3 stigmas per flower, it takes an acre of purple crocuses to make just one pound of saffron.

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7. White Truffles

Price: $3,600/pound

Why does it cost so much? There are a number of reasons: they are only available for a few months a year, in one small part of Italy. It usually takes trained pigs or dogs to find them. We can’t domesticate them. They are getting harder and harder to find. Yep, there are plenty of reasons that white truffles are one of the most expensive foods in the world.

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Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

I'll choose vanilla and saffron.I won't miss the others. :)

Fi T.
Fi T.2 years ago

Beware of what the consequence of eating is

Nils Anders Lunde


Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgado2 years ago

Most on this list you couldn't pay me to bother with--especially that brutal coffee which should be banned anyway. Thanks

Sylvie Bertrand
Sylvie Bertrand2 years ago

Vanilla and saffron for me !

Tammy Baxter
Tammy B.2 years ago


Ana Passos
Ana Passos2 years ago


Dale Overall

At one time chocolate and pepper corns were expensive and eaten only by the well to do.

Edy does not want to eat anything from Japan? Why not, there must be a lot a fascinating foods from that part of the world.

Have never tried a number of these foods, always have wondered about the truffles. So far the closest to truffles that have come my way are those made of chocolate.

Margaret M.
Margaret M. F.3 years ago

Interesting article but why does it need to take 8 pages when 2 or 3 would have sufficed.

Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago

i wouldn't want any of this stuff anyway....crazy