The Richest Food & Drink
At the Playboy Club in London yesterday, famed bartender Salvatore Calabrese managed to create the world’s most expensive cocktail, surpassing the previous record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records. “Salvatore’s Legacy,” as it is known, consists of ingredients that together date back more than 700 years: cognac and liqueur from the 18th century; Curacao from the 19th century; and bitters from the turn of the 20th century. All in all, one glass of this delicious libation carries a price tag of $8,824.
In all likelihood, I will never have the means to drop nearly ten grand on a beverage. But if I did—if money wasn’t a concern—I wonder what other expensive foods I could buy?
If I could have only one dish for the rest of my life, it would undoubtedly be that all-American favorite, the cheeseburger. Nothing makes my mouth water more than a juicy, cheese-covered hamburger patty topped with crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, mustard and ketchup, and sandwiched between a delicious, buttery roll. And there are enough variations in toppings and ingredients to keep things interesting—from crumbled blue cheese and slivered onion rings to salsa and guacamole. To me, it is the perfect food.
In terms of sheer expense, however, nothing tops the $666 Douche Burger created by Franz Aliquo of New York City. First created in a food truck, the Douche Burger features a gold leaf-wrapped patty of Kobe beef, finished with caviar, foie gras, truffles, lobster, Gruyere cheese, kopi luwak barbecue sauce and rock salt from the Himalayas. Even the cheese is melted with champagne steam. Granted, it sounds kind of nasty—even to a burger lover like me—but I’m sure there are rich folks out there who love it.
Cheeseburgers are great on their own, but nothing enhances them better than some hot, crispy French fries. Unfortunately, the most expensive French fry was neither hot nor crispy; it was plastic. In 2005, McDonald’s created the “Lincoln Fry,” which slightly resembled the profile of Abraham Lincoln, as part of a marketing campaign that eventually went viral. Despite being a fake, the Lincoln Fry sold for over $75,000 at auction to the online casino GoldenPalace.com. That is one expensive French fry, especially since you can’t even eat it!
Of course, there are days when cheeseburgers and fries just won’t do, days when I want something a little different. Steak is always a suitable alternative, but mine always come from the grocery store or Outback Steak House. For the insanely wealthy, however, there is nothing better than the Wagyu Steak, a varietal of Kobe beef from the Hyogo region of Japan. Rumor has it that beef comes from beer-drinking cows that are frequently massaged to ensure tenderness and exquisite marbling. Whether or not this is true, I have no idea. What I do know is that a Wagyu steak can run as high as $2800, so those cows can eat or drink anything they like. Lord knows I will never taste them.
Want some marinated mushrooms for your steak? Why not try Matsutake mushrooms, another Japanese delight? This rare fungus grows in the autumn, but has been threatened in recent years because of insects that destroy the trees under which it grows. At $1000 or more per pound, however, I say let the insects eat. However, even Matsutake mushrooms would be preferable to Italy’s White Alba Truffle, the so-called king of all fungi. A large one sold to a Hong Kong couple in 2009 for a whopping $160,000!
Personally, I see nothing wrong with Shiitake mushrooms, especially since they can be found at my local grocer for a much better price.
Pizza normally wouldn’t be an expensive food to enjoy, but even it has been transformed into a meal for the rich and famous. Domenico Crolla created the “Pizza Royale 007” in much the same way that Franz Aliquo created the Douche Burger: by adding as much “rich people” stuff as possible. Crolla’s 12-inch pizza pie incorporates caviar, champagne, lobster, cognac, vintage balsamic vinegar and a host of other ingredients imported from all over the world. Forget about pepperoni because this pizza has venison, smoked salmon and prosciutto. And as if all this weren’t enough, Crolla even sprinkles the pizza with edible flakes of 24-carat gold!
Having some fruit after a good meal is a healthy thing we should all probably do: a banana, an apple or another tasty treat from Mother Nature. The wealthy again have an option not available to most commoners: the Yubari Melon. A pair of these cantaloupes sold for more than $22,000 at auction in 2008. And I’m sure they were delicious. Of course, a nice alternative might be Ruby Roman grapes—also from Japan—which sell for as much as $6,500!
Strange how a lot of this stuff comes from Japan, isn’t it?
Thankfully, I never have to worry about buying, eating or drinking these obscenely priced items. Even if I had money to burn, I’m afraid that my tastes are much less refined. It would be nice to try a Yubari melon just once to see if it truly is worth the price. But I suspect the one element that makes all these foods and drinks taste better is simply the financial investment required to enjoy them. And I can find better ways to spend my money.
Posted on October 13, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged cheese, drink, food, guinness book of world, humor, Japan, Kobe beef, Lincoln Fry, Meat, Money, most expensive, musings, perspectives, Pizza, Playboy Club. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.