Just Plain Vanilla?? World's Most Expensive Spices

Vanilla – more valuable than silver. Vanilla purchases have exploded since the pandemic has started. The island of Madagascar supplies 80% of the world’s vanilla even thought it is not native to the island. Growing vanilla is a stressful and volatile business because there is such high demand, vanilla beans are a target for theft. The process of producing vanilla is an extremely labor intensive process. CBS Sunday Morning takes us on the flavorful story of vanilla, and it may open your eyes to why pure vanilla extract and vanilla beans are so expensive, and why you’ll never think of vanilla as “plain” again.

Some of the other world’s most expensive spices include:

  • Saffron ($500-$5,000 per pound)
  • Black Cumin Seed ($38 per pound)
  • Cardamom ($30 per pound)
  • Cloves ($10 per pound)

And for more exotic ingredients, these will certainly make your grocery bill jump:

  • White Alba Truffle – most expensive sold for $330,000 in 2007
  • Edible gold – make your deserts glisten at $70 for a few grams
  • Swiftlet nests (bird’s nest soup) – white nests $2,000; red swiflet nests go up to $10,000
  • Black watermelon – can sell for as much as $6,300

Click here to download some activities around food and cooking.

Join Email List

Want to stay connected? Join Kendal’s Life Enrichment and Engagement Email List to receive future emails directly.