There were some big headlines about the sale of a giant bluefin tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Japan yesterday.
The 513 pound fish was sold to the highest bidder for $177,000. A princely sum indeed, no doubt fetching the price as stocks of the fish in the wild are thought to be dwindling; but how does that stack up to other of the world's most expensive foods?
Here's a brief and unscientific comparative study.
5. Kobe beef. $32 per pound.
If you're massaged with beer and bred to be morbidly marbled with fat, your flesh would fetch these prices too. Though if you compared the price-to-weight ratio to the others below, Kobe's an outright bargain. Still: not exactly an Extra Value Meal.
3. Bird's Nest. $909 per pound.
What is it? The dried saliva of a cave-dwelling swift, which are inordinately difficult to procure because these caves are usually inaccessible and treacherous to get to. The Chinese use the delicacy in soups, and believe that is has curative properties as well as being an aphrodisiac. Mmmm, nothing like bird spit to bring sexy back.
2. Caviar. $12,500 per pound.
The world's most expensive caviar comes courtesy of a specific type of Iranian beluga sturgeon fish, which have to be between 60 and 100 years old. Unlike Hollywood, here's a case when younger is not better.
1. White Truffle. $86,956 per pound.
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A mushroom beats them all. The most money spent on a white truffle on record was $200,000 for a 2.3-pound specimen at an auction two years ago. That price should easily cover the costs of keeping your truffle hunting dog or swine comfortable in a bed of money.
Edwin Goei was born on the island of Java, grew up in La Habra, studied in Irvine, and eats everywhere. Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, he went by the alias "elmomonster" on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.