Love for cooking amongst humans is as innate as love for food. Cooking is an evolving art, and art is beyond the limits of price or rarity. Chefs world over discover and uncover new ingredients that become an integral part of exotic dining experiences. Ingredients are the vital essentials of a perfect dish, and chefs do everything it takes to create that perfect dish even if it means to pay a hefty sum of money to obtain them. 
Let’s take a look at some of the culinary world’s most interesting ingredients that are considered to be the most expensive across the world, the true diamonds of the kitchen. 

Saffron

Saffron is the dried stamen of crocus plant. Harvesting it is a laborious job.  Each crocus produces just three stamens that should be handpicked and air-dried.  It takes about 40 hours of labour to pick a football field's worth of flowers and make a pound of saffron. This explains the lofty sum of monies spent on obtaining this ingredient. Two kilograms of saffron may cost around $3000. 

White truffles

Truffles are either used as a garnish for pasta or on dishes that use a lot of egg and cheese. They cost an earth because of their seasonal availability and the intensive labour involved.  They are available only one time in a year, and grow in natural habitats.  The truffle hunters use specially trained pigs or dogs to forage the truffles.  They are sold for anywhere between $2000 to $3000 per pound. 

Vanilla

This flower blooms for only a few hours in a year!  They are manually grown in special orchids with utmost care. Undoubtedly, vanilla is a precious flower with an exorbitant price tag.  A pure pound of vanilla may cost up to $3000 

Hawaiian Kona Nigari Water 

Yes, an interesting fact indeed. The most expensive water on earth is taken from 2000 feet under the ocean in Hawaii.  Water from such depth is considered to be pure and contamination free. This desalinated seawater is a mineral concentrate hence should be mixed with normal water. Hugely popular in Japan, it costs around $402  for 750 ml.

Japanese Densuke Watermelon 

Yes, fruits can be expensive as well. This 11 kg watermelon is red and sweet inside and black outside.  It's grown on the island Hokkaido of Japan.  Only 10,000 of these are grown every year and are generally given as prestigious gifts.  Each melon may cost anywhere between $3500 to $6000

Kashmiri Morels

Morels from the Himalayas are locally known as Gucchi. These mushrooms grow on the chilly foothills and have a deep savoury flavour. They are often served in gucchiyakhni pulao and also in kebabs. These are priced at $300 and above for a pound.

Moose House Cheese
 
There are many expensive cheeses, but this has to be the most exclusive.  In a small moose farm in Sweden with just three moose (named Gullan, Haelga, and Juna), who are only milked between  May and September. The moose produce enough milk for about 660 pounds of cheese each season. The cheese sells for about $400 or $500 a pound.

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that have been acquired from the excreta of an animal called Palm Civet! The civet finds the sweetest coffee berries, eats them and passes out the undigested coffee seeds. These are then cleaned, roasted and ground.  So, why not take coffee seeds directly instead of all this exercise? In fact, the 
Kopi Luwak coffee is extremely sweet, smooth and rich because the bitterness of the coffee is removed in the digestion process.The coffee is priced at approximately between $180 to $400

Sturgeon Caviar

Also known as ‘Almas’, it is the most expensive caviar in the world. It comes from the eggs of an extremely rare albino sturgeon that is found in the Caspian Sea. This caviar is banned due to the endangering of the species. The caviar when available is highly priced. A small tin of this caviar can range between $1000 to $ 10000.

Ruby Roman Grapes

It is a type of grape grown and marketed only in Ishiwaka prefecture,  Japan. It is deep red in color and almost the size of a ping-pong ball. To qualify as a Ruby Roman Grape, the fruit must contain high level of sugar content, as much as 18% per grape and each must weigh 20g grams per fruit. The highest big for a bunch of these beauties till date is $ 11,000  

A decade down the line, the list may grow. But for now, remain in the awe.