The Beatles may have been right when they told us that “money can’t buy you love” and the Notorious B.I.G. warned us that with “Mo’ Money” comes “Mo’ Problems.” But if it isn’t love you are looking for and instead are in search of a one-of-a-kind food experience or rare food item, then you are going to have to deal with the mo’ problems, because it’s going to cost you mo’ money! Let’s see what that mo’ money can get you with these 10 foods only the rich can afford.
10. White Truffles
If you thought black truffles were expensive then wait till you get a load of what white truffles will cost you. So, prices will vary depending on the season and the rarity of the particular truffle, but on average you could be looking at about $250 per pound for summer black truffles and $2000-$4000 for Alba white truffles! In fact, in 2017 a collection of white truffles weighing in at just under two pounds sold for over $85,000! Sure, truffles were in shorter supply that year – which helped up the price, but still… that is the price of a luxury car. Or you can get two really good cars for that price. Basically, when we are comparing the price of any food product to that of a car you know it’s crazy. And now you also know why when you get truffles on your pasta or risotto in a restaurant you only get a few ounces shaved on top. That and the fact that the truffle has a strong, earthy taste that – thankfully for those using it – doesn’t require a lot to make a very big impact flavor-wise. You can purchase truffle butters and oils that do a decent job of imparting truffle flavor. But if you have ever had the real thing, the oils don’t really come close.
9. The $145 Hot Dog
Most people think of hot dogs as fast and cheap eats. Most baseball parks even have $1 hot dog night at least a few times per season. And yes, the foodie landscape has seen the emergence of high-end dog joints with some pretty fun and outrageous toppings, but when it comes to price, nothing beats the $145 hot dog from the Tokyo Dog food truck in Seattle, Washington. So, what are you getting for those one hundred and forty-five big ones? Well, you are getting the “Juuni Ban”: A smoked cheese bratwurst with Maitake mushrooms, butter Teriyaki grilled onions, foie gras, Wagyu beef, black truffles, caviar, and Japanese mayonnaise. Ok, so ya, this is a pretty luxurious dog. Any one of those ingredients alone would be decadent, but put them all together and the most uninteresting part of this hot dog is the actual hot dog itself. Next time someone comments to you about how you shouldn’t be putting ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise all together on your hot dog, tell them about the Juuni Ban and then see what they have to say. And if you happen to be in Seattle and have a spare $145 floating around in your pocket, you probably have to give it a try – and let us know if it is as good as it sounds.
8. $195 Mac & Cheese
We know what a lot of you are probably saying right now. “Why would I spend $195 on one serving of mac & cheese when I could buy about 190 boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese and be very happy for a very long time (well, at least for 190 days)”. Then, what if we told you that for $195 your mac and cheese was served stuffed into a full lobster and topped with truffle shavings? The price tag is probably starting to make a little more sense now and all you lobster-lovers out there are probably skipping ahead to find out where you can get this sounds-too-good-to-be-true dish. Well, you don’t have to skip ahead anymore, you can go order yourself this mega-dish at Barton G. restaurant in Hollywood, California. The dish serves two to four people so you might want to invite along a few friends. Although this will also help defer some of the cost, it will also obviously mean less lobster, truffle and mac & cheese for you than if you went all by yourself. But sharing is caring and if it saves you $50-$100 it’s even better right?
7. Densuke Black Watermelon
A watermelon? Really? A watermelon so expensive that only the rich can afford it sounds like the plot to a bad made for TV movie on the Food Network. But it’s true. It really does exist. And it’s called a Densuke black watermelon. This melon is a juicier and sweeter watermelon than any of those run-of-the-mill green ones you’ve picked up at your local grocer on multiple occasions. But how expensive can it really be you ask? Well, you might be able to find a Densuke at your grocery store for about $200. Now, while that’s definitely an expensive watermelon, it might not sound like too outrageous of a price based on the build up. But wait! Those aren’t first-harvest Densuke watermelons. First-harvest Densuke watermelons are the gold standard, and if you can find one, it will probably set you back a whopping $6100. And that price is down from about a decade ago when they were going for around eight grand. Is it worth it? Well, The Toronto Star newspaper in Canada did a taste test and what they found was that the extra juiciness and the amount of seeds (Densukes aren’t genetically modified to have fewer seeds than regular watermelons) did have a negative impact on the consumer’s enjoyment of the melon. But if you can afford to spend $6100 on a watermelon you could probably also afford to hire someone to pick out all the seeds as well as stand by with a cloth to wipe your face on demand.
6. The $208 Cocktail
If you’ve been to a bar or nightclub in the last few years a $208 cocktail might not actually sound all that expensive given the ridiculous prices some clubs charge for alcohol. With the entrance fee, the price of the coat check and a drink or two you could easily drop $208 before you’ve even had the chance to bust out your cool moves on the dance floor. However, for most of us, $208 for one drink seems like nothing more than a recipe for a really expensive trip to the bathroom about 30 minutes later (and that’s a few more bucks right there if you’re at a place with a bathroom attendant). The drink is called the Highland Park 30 Penicillin and you can impress your date by ordering one at The 10£ at The Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Honestly, the word “penicillin” in the name doesn’t make it sound very appetizing, but according to some reviewers, it really is somewhat of a life-changing experience. The bar also serves the drink with complimentary nuts, aged cheese and out-of-the-oven bacon meant to bring out different flavor notes of the drink. And they serve it in a $650 glass. So, if you do try one with a friend, go VERY EASY on the cheers!
5. The $5000 Hamburger
Over the years the title of world’s most expensive hamburger has been passed around from one restaurant to another – from one chef to another. Back in 2012 that honor went to Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York City and their Le Burger Extravagant (that’s french for “The Extravagant Burger”) and at $295 it had a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records – at least for a little while. However, if they were still making said burger (it was a limited time affair) it would seem downright cheap compared to the $5000 hamburger being sold at chef Hubert Keller’s restaurant Fleur, in the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chef Keller’s creation consists of a wagyu beef patty topped with a large piece of foie gras (almost the size of the pattie itself) and a nice helping of shaved truffles. While those are all some rather expensive ingredients, the price tag does seem just a tad outrageous. But it’s Vegas baby and if you are going to do something crazy like spend $5000 on a hamburger then Vegas is where you would probably do it. And depending on your skills at the tables you could possibly win back the price of the burger before you leave, making the whole experience a break-even good time. And speaking of leaving… We all know that whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but if you eat a $5000 hamburger you have every right to tell everyone you know about it!
4. Ruby Roman Grapes
Ruby Roman Grapes made their debut in Japan in 2008. That’s right, these grapes have only been around for a little over a decade – and yet they are easily the most expensive grapes in the world. The grapes are grown and marketed completely in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. They are about the size of a ping pong ball and are much sweeter than your average grocery store grape. They also cost a whole lot more, with the first bunch back in 2008 selling for $910 (or $26 per grape). In 2016 a bunch of 26 grapes sold at the year’s first wholesale market auction for $8400. The quality protocols for these grapes borders on the unbelievable – as they should with these price tags. First off, each grape is inspected for quality and only ones that meet strict criteria are selected. Grapes must be over 20g and 18% sugar. There is even a premium class of Ruby Romans that must be over 30g each and the entire bunch has to weigh over 700g. These standards are so strict that in 2010 only 10 grapes made the cut. And if you think that’s crazy, in 2011 not one single grape was deemed worthy. One year a premium fruit buyer in Japan paid over $11,000 for one bunch of Ruby Roman grapes and then had a free tasting of the rare fruit at his supermarket. That sure beats anything Costco offers at their in-store free tastings.
3. $914 Cup of Coffee
How does $914 for a cup of coffee sound? And you thought Starbucks was expensive. Just think of all the overpriced frappuccinos and macchiatos and other Starbucks coffee creations you could gulp down for the price of just one cup of coffee at The Munch coffee shop in Osaka, Japan. One day by accident the owner of the restaurant found some cold brew coffee he had left in his fridge for six months. Well, it tasted great and that was the lightbulb moment for what would become the $914 cup of coffee. He decided to try aging the coffee in barrels and sure enough after 10 years in a barrel the coffee tasted sweet. It has actually been described as having the taste of a chocolate wine. But he wasn’t going to stop there. The coffee you would be drinking if you were to go and lay down $914 would be coffee that has been aged in a barrel for 22 years. Given that it takes a couple decades to produce, one can see why he would be asking almost a thousand dollars per cup. In fact, with a 22-year aging process, it almost feels like the price is a little low doesn’t it? Okay, maybe not.
Most people know about the luxury costs of items like truffles and caviar, but not everyone is as familiar with, or aware of, saffron. When the general public thinks of spices they think of those glass jars you get at the grocery store and while some may cost more than others, you can easily fill your spice rack and not break the bank. That is unless one of those glass jars contains saffron. Saffron is derived from thin red parts of a flower found in India, Greece, Iran and Spain and can sell for $1500 per pound – and can even get more expensive for certain varieties of the spice. Kashmiri Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and can only be found in one specific region of Kashmir in Northern India. If you do see saffron at your grocery store don’t be surprised to see the bottle it comes in looking almost empty with just a small amount of beautiful short, red saffron threads sitting in it. Then look at the price tag for just that small amount (just 1 gram of Kashmiri Saffron can cost over $10). Thankfully, as any chef will tell you, like with truffles, you don’t need much saffron at all in your dish. Be it risotto or paella or something else, a pinch of the spice is all that is required to impart that wonderful flavor to almost any dish you are making.
1. Grand Velas Taco
Not only is this a really, really expensive taco, but it is, at least as of last year, the most expensive dish in the world and will cause a dent in your wallet to the tune of $25,000! Right up front the dish looks incredible – maybe not $25,000 incredible, but incredible none the less. The Grand Velas taco is an amazingly beautiful food creation made with Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle brie cheese. These perfect ingredients are served on a gold flake-infused corn tortilla. The taco is served with an exotic salsa composed of dried Morita chili peppers, Ley.925 ultra-premium añejo tequila and topped with civet coffee beans. For those unaware, civet coffee beans are derived from partially digested coffee cherries that have been eaten by an Asian Palm civet and then passed through their digestive tract and are collected and separated from their feces. This Kopi Luwak coffee is some of the most expensive coffee in the world. But back to the taco. If ever in Mexico, you can treat yourself to this ridiculously-priced taco at the new Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort’s Frida restaurant. And for those of you hoping for some kind of deal, as far as we know, they don’t do taco Tuesdays there.