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Highest price (per pound) food item.

DonShirer Feb 27, 2014 06:52 PM

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?

  1. ipsedixit Feb 27, 2014 06:57 PM

    White truffles.

    1. d
      Doctormhl1 Feb 27, 2014 06:59 PM

      Caviar. Saffron. Kobe Beef.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Doctormhl1
        c oliver Feb 27, 2014 07:04 PM


        Saffron estimated to be $1500/#.

        1. re: c oliver
          mwhitmore Feb 27, 2014 07:43 PM

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

          1. re: mwhitmore
            melpy Feb 28, 2014 03:36 AM

            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
              kseiverd Feb 28, 2014 03:30 PM

              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
                Bada Bing Feb 28, 2014 07:19 PM

                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
                jw615 Feb 27, 2014 08:40 PM

                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
                  BuildingMyBento Feb 28, 2014 12:16 AM

                  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.

              3. s
                sandylc Feb 27, 2014 07:07 PM


                1. k
                  kagemusha49 Feb 27, 2014 11:50 PM

                  Saffron - hands down

                  1. k
                    Kalivs Feb 28, 2014 02:59 AM

                    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
                      grampart Feb 28, 2014 05:09 AM

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

                      1. re: grampart
                        DonShirer Feb 28, 2014 04:00 PM

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

                        1. re: DonShirer
                          Kalivs Feb 28, 2014 08:35 PM

                          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
                        Taralli Mar 1, 2014 02:54 PM

                        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. s
                        Steve Feb 28, 2014 05:09 AM

                        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
                          porker Feb 28, 2014 05:28 AM

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

                          1. re: Steve
                            ratgirlagogo Feb 28, 2014 09:49 AM

                            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. c
                            ClockworkOrange Feb 28, 2014 05:47 AM

                            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. b
                              Bkeats Feb 28, 2014 06:08 AM

                              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
                                gourmanda Feb 28, 2014 10:05 AM

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

                                1. re: gourmanda
                                  c oliver Feb 28, 2014 10:15 AM

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

                                  1. re: gourmanda
                                    Bkeats Feb 28, 2014 12:04 PM

                                    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
                                      gourmanda Feb 28, 2014 12:10 PM

                                      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
                                        Bkeats Feb 28, 2014 12:13 PM

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

                                  2. re: Bkeats
                                    c oliver Feb 28, 2014 10:14 AM

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

                                    1. re: Bkeats
                                      kagemusha49 Feb 28, 2014 11:14 AM

                                      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. Antilope Feb 28, 2014 10:08 AM

                                      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
                                        sandylc Feb 28, 2014 10:17 AM

                                        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
                                          Veggo Feb 28, 2014 10:18 AM

                                          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: Antilope
                                            c oliver Feb 28, 2014 10:20 AM

                                            A new winner! $15K/#.


                                            1. re: c oliver
                                              porker Feb 28, 2014 10:42 AM

                                              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
                                                Veggo Feb 28, 2014 10:49 AM

                                                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
                                                  porker Mar 1, 2014 08:05 AM

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

                                                2. re: porker
                                                  Antilope Feb 28, 2014 10:49 AM

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


                                              2. re: Antilope
                                                kagemusha49 Feb 28, 2014 11:15 AM

                                                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
                                                  Antilope Feb 28, 2014 12:35 PM

                                                  >>no caloric value and is also tasteless.

                                                  So is iceberg lettuce. ;-).

                                                2. re: Antilope
                                                  Steve Feb 28, 2014 11:17 AM

                                                  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. daislander Feb 28, 2014 12:00 PM

                                                  Some people have way to much money. 1.8 million on a tuna. http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/07/japan-worlds-most-expensive-fish-sold-for-1-8-million/

                                                  $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
                                                    c oliver Feb 28, 2014 12:34 PM

                                                    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. Bada Bing Feb 28, 2014 09:59 PM

                                                    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
                                                      porker Mar 1, 2014 08:06 AM

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

                                                      1. re: porker
                                                        Veggo Mar 1, 2014 08:10 AM

                                                        Thank you, Pacino. I like that scene.

                                                    2. h
                                                      Harters Mar 1, 2014 09:42 AM

                                                      I think saffron is usually quoted as the most expensive.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                        Antilope Mar 1, 2014 02:45 PM

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

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