Cruelty Free Beauty
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6 of the poshest and most expensive treats in the world
We all enjoy the finer things in life, but there are some people willing to pay a small fortune to chow down on a real treat! We track down some of the world’s poshest, and priciest, nosh.
Forget your bog standard chanterelles, because Italian white alba truffles are where it’s really at. Originating in the Langhe area of the Piedmont region in northern Italy, these precious truffles, which can only be found by trained pigs or dogs, can grow to 12cm in diameter and fetch an eyewatering £10,000 for just 1kg! The record price for this truffle was in December 2007, when Stanley Ho, the owner of the Macau casino, paid £165,000 for a 1.51kg truffle – hopefully he did more with it than just grate it over pasta!
There’s little less appetising than a food product that’s been excreted, and yet the world’s most expensive coffee is literally produced in that exact way! Hailing from the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, and the Philippines, Kopi Luwak coffee is the world’s most expensive (and possibly the most disgusting sounding) cuppa in the world! Kopi Luwak is the product of a small, catlike animal called the Asian Palm Civet, which looks for the sweetest coffee cherries to swallow whole. The animal digests the fruit only, and the undigested coffee beans pass through. Then the beans are collected, cleaned, and roasted like regular beans. It is said that the enzymes in the civet’s digestive tract make the beans less acidic, which dramatically improves the coffee’s flavour, giving it an unrivalled smoothness. And, because only 225kg are produced each year, it’s extremely rare and can fetch a pretty healthy £730 per kilo! I think I’ll stick to my Nescafé...
Whoever said water was free clearly hasn’t come across Kona Nigari, the world’s most expensive thirst-quencher. Desalinated seawater is collected from 2,000 feet below the surface of the ocean to produce a concentrate, which must first be mixed with regular drinking water before consuming. The concentrate is high in minerals and free of contaminates, and seemingly, aids weight loss. A single 60ml bottle costs £20 and 80,000 bottles of Kona Nigari are shipped to Japan every day. Clearly, turning on the tap just doesn’t cut it.
When it comes to watermelon, the majority of us will probably only ever have tasted the green variety. But for connoisseurs, it’s black watermelons that are the real deal. Grown only on the island of Hokkaido in Japan, Densuke black watermelons are extremely rare and a harvest will typically yield only a few dozen fruits. Renowned for their perfect hardness and crispness, and just the right level of sweetness, people say their taste is incomparable, which is just as well because a fruit that weighed 17lb once sold for $6,100! I don’t know about you, but I’m happy with the green type!
Cocktails usually come with a hefty price tag, but you’ll have a hard time finding one more expensive than Joel Heffernan’s The Winston, which sets punters back a whopping £8,200 a glass! Spinning his bottles at the Crown Casino’s Club 23 in Melbourne, Joel’s cocktail is made using 60ml of Cognac Croizet 1858 Cuvee Leonie (a bottle of which recently sold at auction for AU$151,000), Grand Marnier Quintessence, Chartreuse Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolonge, and a dash of Angostura Bitters and garnished with spun sugar and green chartreuse shaped into a vine, with chocolate and nutmeg soil. This classy concoction takes 16 hours to prepare and must be ordered at least two days in advance.
When it comes to cupcakes, there’s indulgence and then there’s the Decadence D’Or cupcake created by chef, Olivier Dubreuil at the Palazzo in Vegas. Selling for a crazy £500-a-pop, this luxurious cupcake is created from chocolate made from Venezuela’s rare Porcelana Criollo bean, topped with Tahitian Gold Vanilla Caviar and edible gold flakes. It also includes Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac and comes in a hand blown sugar Fleur-de-Lis.
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