Touring & Tasting
 
September 25, 2013 | Wine & Food Pairings | Touring & Tasting

The World's Most Luxurious Foods

Treat yourself – that’s the phrase we use when we want to justify spending an exorbitant amount of money on something. Although we sometimes use it in reference to a new pair of heels or an extravagant tropical vacation, it is most literally and appropriately applied to food.

While the average American may find a fifty dollar meal at a fancy restaurant to be an indulgence, there are those with a bit more cash on their hands and discriminating taste buds that match their luxurious lifestyles. For these individuals, select restaurants around the world have some unbelievably decadent dishes to satisfy the most expensive culinary cravings.

It’s All About the Ingredients

Although the popularity of the chef and the quality of the restaurant factor into the price of a dish, the individual ingredients are really what drive the cost to the ceiling and beyond. Rare, difficult to acquire ingredients are a shared trait among the world’s most luxurious dishes.

  • White truffles

These are the second most expensive food per weight due to the fact that they can only be found growing under certain oak trees in Italy.

  • Caviar

All caviar is expensive but some varieties, like Almas caviar from Iran, are especially costly.

  • Dansuke watermelon

Less than 70 of these melons are harvested in Japan every year, making them very rare.

  • Wagyu beef 

This meat of Wagyu cattle is sometimes referred to as “the caviar of beef”. Japanese cattle farmers massage the cows with oil and reportedly feed them beer to create the beautifully marbled meat.

  • Kopi Luwak

Widely considered to be the most luxurious and flavorful coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak is produced exclusively in Sumatra.

  • Red Iranian saffron

The labor involved in harvesting saffron is largely why this spice is so expensive. It is often used in pasta and rice dishes to add flavor, color, and aroma.

Some Dishes That’ll Break the Bank

  • Golden Phoenix Cupcake 

Found at: Bloomsbury’s café, Dubai

Price: $957

What you pay for: This gilded creation must be ordered a full two days in advance to accommodate the careful preparation involved. The luxurious baked good is created using edible 23 carat gold dusting and sheets, and local, organic strawberries.

  • Frrrozen Haute Chocolate

Found at: Serendipity 3, New York

Price: $17,913

What you pay for: This pricey hot chocolate is actually an amalgamation of just shy of 30 different varieties of cocoa. Oh, and you can admire the diamond and 18 carat gold bracelet glittering on your wrist as you sip your gourmet chocolate concoction – it comes with the drink.

  • Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup 

Found at: Kai Mayfair restaurant, London

Price: $162

What you pay for: Although served in upper-crust London, this dish has a decidedly Asian-Pacific flavor. Ingredients include shark fin, rare abalone, scallops, sea cucumber, Hunan ham, ginseng, and Japanese flower mushrooms.

  • Most Expensive Bagel

Found at: Westin Hotel, New York

Price: $1,000

What you pay for: Everyone knows that New York bagels are delicious, but this creation by chef Frank Tujague takes things a step further. Although the bagel itself surely lives up to the highest standards in the bagel world, what really makes this bagel special is all in the topping – white truffle cream cheese, Riesling infused jelly with beta-carotene rich goji berries, and golden leaves for garnish.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go to one of these elite restaurants or drop hundreds to thousands of dollars on a single meal to experience luxurious cuisine. You can invest in high quality ingredients like wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and whole vanilla beans to create your own posh dishes at home – 23 carat edible gold sheets optional.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/OF009745/white-truffles-on-blue-plaid-cloth?popup=1

Written by Michael of Minus 8 Vinegar, who has passion for taking the vineyard and translating it into incredible flavors for chefs.

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