The Pantry


saffron la mancha

The ten most expensive ingredients in the world.

We often think about truffles, Belotta ham, wagyu beef, and lobster as some of the most expensive ingredients that can be bought. But still for some, this is simply not enough. Just think about a cheese going for 10,000 HKD a kilo or the potatoes going for 5,000 HKD a kilo. Yes, these products do exist but only very small minority who are willing to buy them at a very hefty price tag. Trust me, I am not one of them. The one common thing all those products have in common is the very limited supply.

White truffle:


This should not come as a surprise for anyone. White truffle with its distinctive flavor and smell comes from Italy and roughly cost between 30,000 to 60,000 HKD a kilo. Probably the best way to enjoy white truffles is with eggs.

Black Sensuke:


Imagine a watermelon selling for 40,000 HKD? Yes, you are not dreaming. The black sensuke grows on the Hokkaido Island is consume like any other fruit. The skin is very black while the inside is smooth and pink. Fruits such as watermelon and melons are luxury products on the island often given as a gift and a sign of respect. In the case of the black sensuke only 65 pieces was harvested last season making it one of the most sought after fruits in Japan.

Kobe beef:


This one is not a surprise either as it is relatively easy to find Kobe beef in any upscale supermarket like Citisuper. This breed of beef originates from Kobe in Japan and it said that the beef is subject to a special diet including beer and sake that apparently gives a subtle flavor to this beautiful marble meat. It cost anywhere between 7,000 to 9,000 HKD a kilo

Pule cheese:


The pule cheese is a distinctive cheese coming straight from the Balkans. Made out of locally breed of Balkan donkeys cattle (only 100 of those donkey still exist) each producing less than 1 liter of milk per day costing 450 HKD, the pule cheese requires 25 liters of milk to create one single kilo of cheese.

Saffron from La Mancha region.

saffron la mancha

Saffron is already considered, as one of the most expensive products on earth but this one is even pricier. Always sold by the strand and never grounded, the saffron de la Mancha is always manually harvested. The three saffron strands are individually picked on each flower. Imagine the amount of work necessary just to have a few strains hence a hefty price tag of 30,000 HKD a kilo.

Almas caviar


We all know that caviar cost an arm and a leg but the Almas Caviar is definitely the most expensive out of all of them. Not only it comes in a 24 carat gold box, it comes from a rare breed of albino beluga sturgeon that can only be found in the Caspian Sea. The prices range from 150,000 to 250,000 a kilo for this amazing white diamond.

Kopi Luwak coffee beans:


Kopi Luwak coffee beans refer to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian Palm Civet. The seeds are then carefully cleaned and roast to make the most expensive coffee beans fetching over 10,000 HKD a kilo. You really better be a billionaire coffee addict for your daily espresso shot.

The potato La Bonnote:


This is definitely not the potato to be used for your homemade fries. Only a handful of restaurants can really made something out of this potato. The cost is roughly 7,000 HKD a kilo. Only cultivated in the island of Noirmoutier, an island in the Brittany (France), and only harvesting less than 100 tons a year, this spectacular potato must be hand picked as the tuber remains attached to the stem making it impossible for modern tools to harvest. La Bonnotte is planted in February and ready to be picked by the first week of May.

Matsutake mushroom:


Matsutake mushrooms grow under trees and often concealed. Although, they can be found in various countries around the globe, the mushroom is extremely expensive in Japan due its scarcity in the local market reaching 20,000 HKD a kilo.

The Yubari King melon:


The Yubari King Melon come from Yubari, a small town close to Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. In short, it is a hybrid created in the early 60’s between two other melons: Earl’s Favorite and the Burpee Spicy. It fetched record price in auction going for over 130,000 HKD a piece.

 If by any chance any of you had the opportunity to try and taste of the above products, let me know and share your experience.