Are you looking for the most expensive bowl of soup? Well, be prepared for one stomach shaking ingredient: Bird poop. This is just a tip of the iceberg; expensive foods in the world don’t necessarily translate to appetizing ingredients, some are just straight-up disgusting.
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From rotten cheese to cat poop coffee, some foods being sold around the world have very repugnant ingredients. People still flock the restaurants just for the adventure, if not to test just how much disgust they can withstand. The test, however, is getting past the scary process used to make these foods.
10 THE CORNISH PINEAPPLE
Pineapples need hot weather to grow, which is why production is limited to tropical regions. However, the most expensive pineapples in the world are grown in Cornwall, and the process is very stomach-churning. The fruits are planted in 4-Inch thick horse manure for two years in heated greenhouses.
The other ingredients for growth include being soaked in horse urine as the main growth and fattening booster before harvesting. Due to their rare nature and allegedly delicious taste, Cornish pineapples cost up to $10,000, making them the most expensive fruits in the world.
9 ELEPHANT DUNG BEER
Beer brewing is a complicated process depending on the brewery, but the Sankt Gallen Brewery in Japan seemed to have gone too far with these. The beer uses coffee beans as a flavor. It is called un Kono Kuro in Japanese, which literally means poop. The beer’s expensive nature draws back to the coffee beans that are harvested from elephant poop in Thailand.
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The beans allegedly cost $100 per 35g, making them the most expensive coffee beans in the world. The beans are harvested by digging through the poop before being rinsed and packaged for the main business. A keg of the beer is even more expensive, costing $1100 per. Drinkers admitted that the taste was great except for the bitterness at the beginning.
8 CASU MARZU (ROTTEN CHEESE)
Casu Marzu simply means rotten cheese, except one that is meant to be eaten. It is a traditional Sardinian cheese made from sheep milk. The cheese is preserved beyond the normal time in a dark room that allows flies to land on it and lay eggs. By the time it is eaten, larvae are jumping all over it.
However, the eaters, especially brides, are encouraged to eat it with the maggots as it allegedly boosts fertility. It is also very expensive, reserved mostly for heavy spenders in the Italian black market at an estimated cost of $100 per lb.
7 CIVET COFFEE
Civet coffee or Kopi Luwak is famously known as the most expensive coffee in the world. A cup of this rare drink costs up to $80 per cup. The rareness of the coffee beans comes about because you have to wait for a Civet to poop them. It is a tiresome disgusting process, but the benefits are worth it.
Civets are cat-like creatures with a body reassembling a raccoon that feeds on reptiles, insects, and fruits. People in parts of Asia and Africa keep them in cages, feed them coffee beans and then harvest their partially digested beans to make coffee. Partial digestion reduces coffee acidity, making it smoother.
6 BIRD’S NEST SOUP
A mixture of bird poop and saliva may be stomach-churning until you realize it makes a nice soup. A cave swiftlet is a special bird that knows how to create its nest with saliva. The bird mixes seaweed, grass, and feathers, before bonding them nicely with its saliva to create a nest.
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After this brutal process, the birds have to wait for the saliva to dry, solidify, and then bond. Many people hunt for these nests in China to harvest the solidified saliva, which is sold at a premium to make soup. A bowl costs up to $100 in Chinatown in LA.
5 FERMENTED SHARK (HARKAL)
So shark may not be everyone’s favorite seafood, but when you consider fermentation, it becomes even harder to try. The practice traces back to the Vikings, as Icelandic shark is poisonous if eaten raw. The fish is treated by being buried underground for 6 to 18 weeks.
The longer it is buried, the pricier it becomes. After the burial, it is hanged in the open for more weeks before being eaten. The stench is so strong you may need stronger liquor or otherwise to wash it down if you are eating for the first time. Canned servings cost over $30 per 100g.
4 MOOSE MILK CHEESE
Moose are one of the most beautiful grazers in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are not the cleanest beasts. They forage through the dump and sometimes get infected with dangerous pests, which is why they don’t make the best meat or source of milk.
However, many farmers in Iceland and Denmark choose to domesticate these beasts for their protein-rich milk. Customers have to wait for the end of the mating season to groom a female during incubation before it can be milked after giving birth. The milking process is also dangerous as moose can get very aggressive. It is one of the most expensive Cheeses in the world, costing over $500 per lb.
3 WHITE TRUFFLES
Many people still don’t understand the obsession with truffles, as they are considered one of the smelliest foods in the world. They are rare because they only grow in special places in Europe and are very difficult to come by. On opening a container full of white truffles, the first smell that hits the owner is the stench of dirty socks. However, this rare fungus is considered the most expensive food in the world, with an 8lb box estimated to cost over $20,000.
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There are black and white truffles, although the white ones which are hunted by trained dogs in France, Italy, Spain, and parts of Belgium are considered the best. There has been an influx of cheap imports from China, but many people have since learned to differentiate them. A few shavings of whichever version of truffles in the US on a plate of paster will raise its cost to $100 in no time.
2 SANNAKJI (LIVE OCTOPUS)
Seafood lovers in South Korea feast on some dishes that many in North America and Europe might not be able to stomach, but Sannakji goes way beyond that. It can kill you. Octopus don’t die simply because you cut off their heads, their arms continue moving and gripping onto objects for up to one hour because each arm has its own neurons.
Sannakji is frequently eaten by many adventurers who want to enjoy the chewy slimy taste of a live octopus. It is prepared by cutting a young live octopus into small pieces then serving it within minutes of being cut. The wriggling arms can choke you to death if you don’t chew them properly. A small bowl in restaurants around Seoul with a few arms of baby octopus cost $30.
1 FUGU (PUFFER FISH)
Pufferfish is one of the greatest phenomenons to witness while in water but not on your plate. It looks like an air-filled balloon with scales and teeth. However, it is a culinary delicacy in Japan and other southeast Asian countries. The main concern is that it is also the second most poisonous fish in the world, one believed to take up to 50 people to the hospital in Japan every year.
The fish carries a poison called tetrodotoxin in its liver, ovaries, and intestines, and the smallest contact with a human can lead to death. The preparation requires very experienced hands, which is why Fugu is only served by a few specialized restaurants in Toky0 and other cities in Japan. The attraction to this culinary miracle is more of a thrill than the taste. One properly prepared meal of fugu costs up to 30,000 yen, which is nearly $300.
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