The 10 Most Expensive Spices in the World
Why are certain spices more costly than others? It can be partly explained by the high production cost and the high cost to import. Despite that, spice prices have decreased in general over the past few years.
Spices were a status symbol during Roman times. Rich people ate large quantities of spices. The spice traders who traveled to India and Arabia in search of cinnamon and pepper brought them back to Rome.
In Europe, spices were extremely expensive during the Middle Ages. They were used in both cooking and medicinal purposes, as well as religious ceremonies.
In 1602, the Dutch East India Company was created to bring spices from Asia to Europe. This was the Dutch Golden Age. As a result, the Netherlands became one of the top 10 wealthiest countries worldwide.
Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile
One of the most expensive spices in the world comes from the Oaxaca region in Mexico is home to this rare chile. The Pasilla chile pepper is much hotter than traditional Pasilla. Pasilla de Oaxaca costs about $16 per Pound in Oaxaca. In the U.S. it can cost anywhere from $40 to $60 per Pound.
A great way to enjoy these expensive Mexican chilies is to stuff them with cheese and deep fry them.
Another one of the most expensive spices in the world is the green cardamom. While green cardamoms are more expensive than black ones, they have a rich flavor that is well-suited for sweet and savory foods. The green variety is harvested before they reach maturity. Black cardamoms, on the other hand, are dried over an open fire pit. These cardamoms are very popular in Indian cuisine. They’re also used in Scandinavian cooking in recipes such as pulla which is a Finnish cardamom loaf. Generally, the cardamom seed pods should be removed just before use and ground with a mortar and pestle.
Green cardamom is known to reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar. Cardamom powder contains flavonoid quercetin. Some studies have shown that anxiety and depression are less common amongst people who have added green cardamom to their daily diet.
Grains of Paradise
The grain of paradise is also known as alligator, Guinea, or melegueta. It comes from a West Africa-based plant. This herbaceous perennial is known scientifically as Aframomum melegueta, which is a member of the ginger family.
Grains of paradise seed are used to make spice due to their fragrant, and peppery flavor. They are often used in the spice mix Ras el Hanout.
This rare spice can also been sold as grains of paradise extract for medicinal uses. Whole grains from paradise are thought to also possess aphrodisiac attributes!
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Kaffir lime leaves are costly because they need to be picked by hand from long, thorny trees. They are also known to be called makrut-lime and are popular in Thailand.
Kaffir lime leaves are used in spices for soups and stir-fries, as well as in curries and other dishes. The dried leaves of kaffir lime can be purchased in specialist grocery shops around the globe.
California and Florida now have fresh kaffir lilies. Kaffir leaves are a good source of Vitamin C.
Black Cumin Seed
Black cumin differs from regular cumin seeds, which are usually brown. It has a sweeter, more citrusy flavor. This type of cumin, which is darker and thinner than the black caraway or nigella varieties, should not be confused.
They can be used whole to flavor bread. Black cumin seeds are used in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa to treat conditions such as asthma and rheumatism.
It is used both for cooking and for skin care. It is rich in over 100 vitamins and minerals. Its oil can be used to fight fine lines, reduce blemishes, and more.
Long pepper, also known by the name pipli is the fruit from a flowering vine plant and is considered one of the most expensive spices in the world. This spice, which has a conical appearance, was once very popular in Indian cooking, African and Mediterranean.
Alaric I the King of Visigoths received a ransom of long-pepper, gold, silver, and other valuables during Rome’s first siege. Long pepper is harder to find due to its high cost in the West than regular black pepper.
This spice is hot, earthy, and can be used as a marinade, rasam spicy soup, or lentil curries. Ayurvedic medicine also includes long pepper and herbs.
Mahleb, mahalepi is a common name for this spice. It’s the seed kernel that St. Lucie cherries use. Mahlab is costly because it takes quite a while to crack open the cherry seeds.
The seed kernels are then dried, before being ground or sold whole. Whole mahlab is a better option than grinding it. It retains its taste longer, so make sure to buy the whole mahlab. You can then grind it using a pestle-and-mortar or a Pepper Mill.
This spice can be found in Greek and Middle Eastern food. Mahlab isn’t well-known outside of the United States.
Vanilla is very expensive for several reasons. Madagascar produces 80% of vanilla around the world, although its production can be affected by cyclones.
Because consumers preferred synthetic vanilla cheaply in the 1980s and 1990s, some vanilla farmers stopped producing vanilla. The price of vanilla is also high because of theft.
Vanilla beans can be stolen, so some farmers may pick them before the beans are fully ripe. This reduces the quality. Vanilla vines can take up to four years to mature. Vanilla flowers usually only bloom once a year and need to be pollinated to produce vanilla beans.
Vanilla pods containing small seeds are real, the essence of vanilla however is synthetic.
Organic fennel Pollen is the second most expensive spice. Although it is relatively easy to grow fennel in the garden, the pollen must still be picked by hand.
Tuscany, Italy is home to most of the commercially available fennel-pollen. If you have the patience and the desire to grow your own fennel, you can also make the yellow flowers yourself by placing them in a ziplock container.
Fennel pollen has an unusual taste, with flavors of anise citrus, liquorice, and pepper. It is loved by some of the finest chefs in the country.
Fennel seeds and pollen are used as herbal remedies for various ailments. They also serve as purifying foods for the body that aid in weight loss and detox.
Fennel is believed to be helpful in treating eye problems and reducing cataracts in elderly people. Fennel was used to treating snakebite in ancient Chinese medicine.
Pure Iranian saffron is by far the most expensive spice. Saffron, often called red gold, is prized for its rich taste. Saffron spice is made from the crocus plant and must be handpicked. To make one pound, you would need only three red stigmas per flower. As little as $9 can go for a gram of saffron.
Saffron is most commonly produced in Iran and Iranian saffron is considered to be the purest and most valued. However, it is now also available in Afghanistan, Spain, and India. Once the crocus saffron stigmas have been picked, they are called saffron threads.
You can use saffron to make a shellfish paella, risotto, or tahdig, a crispy rice dish. Drinking saffron water is said to give your skin a glow. It can also help reduce the appearance of any skin imperfections and improve the texture.