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Highest price (per pound) food item.

My wife brought home from the grocery what she said was a 1 oz package of Cardamom Seeds for a recipe which was marked $53.60 per pound! Got me to wondering, what is the most expensive (per pound) food item in common use?

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        1. re: c oliver

          Sounds right, though I've never understood this. It makes rice yellow (big deal), but I can't taste the stuff.

          1. re: mwhitmore

            You must not have the "good" stuff or you don't recognize the flavor. It has a sort ofedicinal flowery quality which is pretty unmintakable. Stamen or thread is what to want to use, powder is often mixed with other things or just coloring.

            1. re: mwhitmore

              Only bought saffron ONE time... jar off supermarket shelf. I couldn't really TASTE anything interesting eiher, but then that jjar had probably sat there for AGES!?!

              1. re: mwhitmore

                There are foods that some people cannot taste on a genetic basis. But rest assured, saffron is a very distinctive taste, and strong enough that some people can actively dislike it. I love it but once used too much and found it unpleasant.

                Hard to describe: something like a cross between floral and metallic, along with a touch of the aromatic character we get from things like shallots. Try some good stuff before you give up. Making things a different color is the least of its qualities.

              2. re: c oliver

                And the last time that I had saffron, I got to add a ER visit on to that price.

                Allergic. Oops.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Though I haven't flown with them yet, Iran Air apparently hands out saffron to its business class passengers. Not all of the time, but I dig it.

                  1. Where did she buy it? We use cardamom all the time and get it from the Indian store. It's never even close that amount.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Kalivs

                      Cardamom PODS are what I see offered for sale. Perhaps buying just the SEEDS would jack the price up.

                      1. re: grampart

                        You're right, it was pods, not seeds.

                        1. re: DonShirer

                          But, I was wrong, too. I read that she bought a pound rather than an ounce & was wondering what dish requires a pound of cardamom seeds! My mistake

                      2. re: Kalivs

                        Easily get bags of powdered cardamon from the Armenian bakeries & green grocers out my front door on the cheap. Also have whole pods in my freezer from the local Indian markets on hand.

                      3. White cardamom pods from Penzeys sell for $30.75 for a four ounce bag. The cheaper Guatemalen seeds (not pods) sell for $19.39 for four ounces.

                        According to Wiki, Guatemala is the world's largest produce of cardamom (who knew?).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Steve

                          *had* I knew, I would have brought some back...to do what with them is another question.

                          1. re: Steve

                            Asian grocers have green cardamom pods for way cheaper than that, though I'm not sure of the sourcing. Kalustyan's sells a 14 oz. bag for 39.99 and they're probably the most expensive of the Indian/Asian grocers in NYC.

                          2. maybe not the most expensive, but up there - baby and toddler foods/snacks. Just bought a bag of yogurt melts at $3 for 1oz. or $48lb lol

                            1. White truffles are about $2,500 a pound.

                              Russian beluga caviar is about $5,000 a pound.

                              Saffron and cardamon got nothing.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Bkeats

                                Not sure where you are but it's illegal to sell/import Russian beluga caviar in the US

                                1. re: gourmanda

                                  But that doesn't stop it from being expensive elsewhere.

                                  1. re: gourmanda

                                    Marky's lists it.


                                    Its says its the only place where its available in the US, but everything shows up as out of stock.

                                    So you get farmed Osetra for $1700 a pound or Sevruga for $2400 a pound instead.

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      It's out of stock because it is illegal for them to import it or send it across state lines.

                                      Interesting, though, that the owner is trying farm raise beluga in Florida in the hopes of selling the caviar in a few years.

                                      1. re: gourmanda

                                        Sure, but they still have plenty of stuff at $2000+ a pound that isn't subject to a CITES ban.

                                  2. re: Bkeats

                                    Forgot about those items. They're the winners by far.

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      Nobody buys saffron by the pound. In retail quantities like by the gram it is more like $3,000/lb. (Check on Amazon). The caviar example does not count as it is traded currently on a black market and that always inflates the price.

                                    2. Gold leaf? I've seen news reports of high end restaurants putting gold leaf pieces on top of food as a garnish.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Antilope

                                        It's been used in pastry for a very long time. Heck, I've used gold leaf on pastries. Back in the indulgent 80s.

                                        1. re: Antilope

                                          Good one, and with many varieties, as gold leaf weighs less than gossamer wings. It can truly deliver a regal speckled trout in the porcelain the next day.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              I don't quite get it...
                                              gold runs about $1300/ounce
                                              x 16 oz/lb
                                              = $20 800/lb
                                              Where did the $15k come from

                                              Even then, $30 for 80mg
                                              (454g/lb / .08g) * $30 = $170 250/lb
                                              $45 for 150mg
                                              (454g/lb / .15g) * $45 = $136 200/lb

                                              1. re: porker

                                                Gold foil and gold leaf are only angstroms in thickness, the most malleable of all elements can practically pass light through it. Gold foil and leaf are far more expensive than the base commodity cost in order to process it so finely, but a little goes a long way.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Ok, I'll buy that.
                                                  Like the use of "angstrom".

                                                2. re: porker

                                                  Gold oz are troy oz, but that still doesn't explain the difference in the amount, per your example.


                                              2. re: Antilope

                                                Gold really isn't a food even though some people sprinkle it as a decoration. It has no caloric value and is also tasteless.

                                                1. re: kagemusha49

                                                  >>no caloric value and is also tasteless.

                                                  So is iceberg lettuce. ;-).

                                                2. re: Antilope

                                                  Gold leaf is 1/250,000th of an inch thick, so they could do this at Dairy Queen if it would bring in more customers. A few specks would raise the price of a sundae by less than fifty cents.

                                                3. Some people have way to much money. 1.8 million on a tuna. http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/07/j...

                                                  $22,000 on a cantaloupe!

                                                  $6000 on a watermelon!


                                                  I did put gold leaf on my truffles I made for Christmas, looked amazing!!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: daislander

                                                    Here's a picture of some gold leaf on one of about a dozen desserts we tasted at Jean-George in NYC a couple of weeks ago. (Thanks again, pikawicca!) It was Peanut Torte, Caramel Mousse, Brown Butter Caramel

                                                  2. Like others, I'm sure saffron is the answer, but no one comes near buying a pound of saffron. Everyone can make a saffron dish. In terms of cost per actual usage, I do think answers like white truffle and Bluefin Tuna otoro sushi are the high end of meal pricing.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                      Tony Montana would buy it by the pound.
                                                      Say hello to my little fren.

                                                      1. re: porker

                                                        Thank you, Pacino. I like that scene.

                                                    2. I think saffron is usually quoted as the most expensive.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        That's only because you never tried to buy a Panda steak. ;-).