The worlds most expensive foods


Fugu fish

Fugu is a Japanese delicacy, highly revered and served in a heavily ritualised manner. Made from the meat of particularly poisonous pufferfish, just one of which contains enough poison to kill 30 people. If prepared incorrectly, an unlucky diner is likely to experience nausea, vomiting, paralysis, and eventually death by asphyxiation.

The poison is tetrodotoxin and is 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide with no known antidote – however due to the intense training of the Chef's deaths from this dish are extremely rare indeed.

Fugu generally retails for $300/£160 per kilo, or $135/£70 per pound.

The torafugu, or tiger blowfish is the most prestigious edible species and the most poisonous.

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

Jamón ibérico de bellota (Iberian acorn ham) is the world's most expensive pig product.

The highest grade of Spanish jamón ibérico meat, jamón ibérico de bellota comes from the Black Iberian Pig breed, which is raised free-range among the forests along the Spanish-Portuguese border and eats only acorns.

This luxury ham has only been available to buy in the US and UK since 2007 but now has a steady supply both sides of the Atlantic.

Price per kilo is $300/£160 or $140/£75 per pound.

Kona Nigari

The worlds most expensive water, desalinated seawater is collected from 2,000 feet below the surface of the ocean to produce a concentrate, must first be mixed with regular drinking water before consuming.

The concentrate is high in minerals and free of contaminates, and seemingly, aids weight loss. A single 60ml/2fl oz bottle costs $33/£20.

80,000 bottles of Kona Nigari are shipped to Japan every day.

Matsutake mushrooms

Matsutake mushrooms

The matsutake mushroom has been highly valued in Japan for centuries. Also known as mattake, this large fungus is found on particular types of pine tree in areas of Japan, Korea, China, and even Finland.

In keeping with the country's reverence for ancient customs, some reports attribute Japan's affection for the matsutake to its respect for tradition rather than the mushroom's flavour, which is said to be rather bland.

Japanese matsutake retails for $2000/£1200 per kilo, or $4400/£2600 per pound.

Bird's Nest soup

Bird's Nest soup is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes – and as you guessed, it's made from bird's nests. Specifically the glue-like saliva nests created by birds like the swallow.

This food is famous in eastern culture that it's usually called “Caviar of the east”. A kilogram/2.2lbs of white nest can cost up to $2,000/£1200, and a kilo of "red blood" nest is even more expensive and can cost up to $10,000/£6000.


Back to the first page of the worlds most expensive foods…

Jennifer Barnaby - Dec 16, 2013, 10:10


White truffles from Alba that weigh under 100g sell for a lot less than what you mentioned in your article. In Italy and here in Monaco this year they average €2,500-€3,000 per kilo.  Worth every centime if you ask me.

5 - 1 =