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The Rarest & Most Expensive Food In The World

Food & Drink

While discerning travellers will aim to sample some of the finer things in life, when it comes to food, there are a few things that only a select few will ever get to taste. Whether it's because of rigorous (or even dangerous) cooking procedures, or simply due to the rarity of ingredients, the list of people who have sampled these culinary exclusivities is short.

From melons and mushrooms, to caviar and pufferfish, here are some of the rarest foods in the world:

Almas Caviar

Caviar is emblematic of a luxury lifestyle, and synonymous with exclusivity. While many people might get the chance to indulge in this delicacy at some point in their lives, the number of people who make it a regular feature in their diet is small. The list of people who get the opportunity to sample Almas Caviar - the 'white gold' holding the Guinness World record for the most expensive of all caviar - is far smaller still.

Almas caviar is a true delicacy. The pearly white eggs of the albino beluga sturgeon, found in caspian sea, are taken only from fish that are more than a century old; the endangered status of the fish has driven the price - and exclusivity - of this caviar up even further. At £25,000 per kilo, it would be fair to say that Almas Caviar is one of the rarest foods in the world.

Where can you try it?

This caviar can't be bought on the high street - to obtain even a small amount of this delicacy, you'd need to visit one of the few Caviar House and Prunier stores, where it is exclusively available. Its delicate and nuanced flavour is said to be worth the effort.

Kobe Beef

While beef is hardly an exclusive or rare foodstuff, Kobe beef is far from ordinary. Produced exclusively from Wagyu cows, this meat is hugely expensive, and widely sought-after the world over.

It's easy to see why this is the case, when you consider the processes that go into preparing this delicacy. The cows are tended to closely throughout their entire lives, fed exclusively on only the finest grasses, and, incredibly, are given daily massages.

Along with sake baths, and the occasional beer sampling (said to calm the cows), these steps are taken to ensure that Kobe beef is inimitable, unsurpassable, and utterly exclusive.

Where can you try it?

Kobe beef might be one of the rarest meats in the world, but its popularity has meant that it's now available across the globe - albeit in selected restaurants, and only to those who can afford it. High-end establishments like London's Engawa, or Les Tantes Jeanne in Paris offer the beef, as well as several locations in Japan.

Fugu

Some foods are rare because of how sparse or hard to find their ingredients are, but the exclusivity associated with others is centred around their production. This is the case with 'fugu'; these wild pufferfish contain deadly tetrodotoxin, and if they aren't prepared with the utmost precision and skill, can be deadly. Fugu chefs train for a minimum of two years, in order to develop the required skills to prepare the fish - which is a delicacy usually eaten raw.

While a mere 60 years ago the number of people killed by fugu in Japan per year was close to 100, now it has dropped to almost nil - a license is required both to buy, prepare, and sell fugu, and trained chefs are skilled enough to eliminate any danger. This does, however, make this an expensive - and exclusive - delicacy.

Where can you try it?

The dish is popular, but outside of Japan can be difficult to obtain. If you're enjoying a stay in your Hideaway in Niseko, a trip to one of Japan's famed fugu restaurants could be well worth the effort. As farmed, non-poisonous fugu increases in popularity, the genuine wild torafugu (or 'tiger blowfish') remains the most exclusive - and expensive - way to experience authentic fugu.

Densuke Black Watermelon

Watermelon is hardly a rare food - but the Densuke, also from Japan, most certainly is. Solely grown on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, Densuke watermelons differ from their domestic counterparts - they are stripeless, deep, dark green, and have a sweeter taste. They're also extremely sought after, fetching astonishingly high prices; grown in small batches, the few melons harvested earliest have been known to sell for over $6000.

Where can you try it?

While the melons are sold around the world, they're incredibly rare. Usually, only a handful are distributed to any one location, and their high price tag means they're only for those with income to spare. For the most authentic experience of a densuke, a trip to the island of Hokkaido itself could provide a memorable - and undeniably indulgent - experience.

Early Season Matsutake Mushrooms

Found in Asia, Europe, and North America, matsutake mushrooms hold the accolade of being one of the most sought-after and rare mushrooms in the world. Grown under trees, over the past 50 years in Japan particularly, a pine-killing nematode has dramatically reduced the number of matsutake, and driven the price sky high.

The other caveat with the growth of matsutake is that it needs to take place organically, and can't be artificially cultivated. The fungus has a symbiotic relationship with the tree it blooms under, and can't grow in the same place twice - meaning the mushrooms have to be harvested wild. As a result, early season matsutake can reach up to $1000 a kilogram.

Where can you try it?

If you're staying in Asia, matsutake mushrooms can be found in many markets, shops, and restaurants. Their distinct spicy and nutty flavour make them an integral part of many bold and delicious dishes, and many argue they are worth their price tag. Early season matsutake are the cream of the crop, though, and consumers pay for the privilege of sampling these rare delicacies.

The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence

While many of the inclusions on this list are sparse raw ingredients, it seems only fitting to include a man-made extravagance. The 'fortress stilt fisherman indulgence' is a more than fitting choice, and holds a reputation as one of the most expensive desserts in the world.

A gold leaf Italian cassata, flavoured with Irish cream infused with fruit, makes up the body of the 'indulgence'. Served with a mango and pomegranate compote, and a Dom Perignon champagne sabayon, the thing that truly sets this dish apart is the handmade chocolate fisherman, sitting astride a traditional stilt (also chocolate) which is counterbalanced by an 80 carat aquamarine stone.

Where can you try it?

The dessert is only available at the Fortress Resort, and needs to be ordered from the hotel's wine restaurant 24 hours in advance. Served on handmade flared glass, this might just be one of the rarest, most exclusive, and most exquisite desserts in the world.

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