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15 of the World’s Most Expensive Foods

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If you ever find yourself in a Brewster’s Millions situation and have to burn through a fortune in a hurry, then all you need are this article, a few plane tickets and an empty stomach. (It never hurts to plan for the unexpected.) So just in case, here are 15 meals that can help you wipe out your bank account in no time.

1, 2 & 3. The Most Expensive Burgers

Where You Can Find It: Serendipity 3, New York

Price: $295

What Makes It So Expensive: Le Burger Extravagant is made with white truffle butter-infused Japanese Wagyu beef, topped with James Montgomery cheddar cheese, black truffles and a fried quail egg. It’s served on a gold-dusted roll spread with white truffle butter and topped with a blini, crème fraiche and caviar. If that weren’t enough to excuse the price, it also comes with a solid-gold, diamond-encrusted toothpick.

There’s Competition Though: While they may not be recognized by Guinness, New York food truck 666 Burger offers the $666 Douche Burger that features a Kobe beef patty stuffed with foie gras and gold-leaf, covered in caviar, lobster, truffles, Gruyere cheese melted with champagne steam and BBQ sauce made with Kopi Luwak coffee. While the burger was a satire of La Burger Extravagant, it is actually available for sale, but as of yet, only one person has actually ordered it.

There’s also the FleurBurger 5000, from Vegas restaurant Fleur that features a Wagyu beef and foie gras patty with truffle sauce and shaved black truffles. Your order for this $5,000 burger also includes a bottle of $2,500 wine, Chateau Petrus, so really, you’re not just paying for the burger -- but still, the $2,500 burger might be the world’s most expensive, even if it’s not official yet.

4. The Most Expensive Dessert

Where You Can Find It: Serendipity 3 (Yes, the same place as the most expensive burger)

Price: $25,000

What Makes It So Expensive: The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate ice cream sundae contains a blend of 28 cocoas, including 14 of the most expensive in the world. It is decorated with edible gold and served in a goblet lined with edible gold. As if all that weren’t enough, there is an 18 karat gold bracelet with 1 carat of diamonds in the bottom of the sundae, and the treat is served with a golden spoon decorated in white and chocolate diamonds, both of which go home with the diner.

5. The Most Expensive Curry

Where You Can Find It: Bombay Brasserie, London

Price: $3,200

What Makes It So Expensive: The Samundari Khazana (meaning “seafood treasure”) contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar, gold leaf, a Scottish lobster coated in gold, four abalones and four quail eggs.

6. The Most Expensive Pie

Where You Can Find It: The Fence Gate Inn, Lancashire

Price: $14,260, or $1,781 per slice

What Makes It So Expensive: This meat pie contains $870 worth of Wagyu beef fillet, Chinese matsutake mushrooms (that cost around $400 a pound), winter black truffles, and French bluefoot mushrooms (they go for around $160 a pound). Two bottles of vintage 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine are used in the gravy (another $1,740 per bottle) and the crust is covered in edible gold leaf.

7. The Most Expensive Frittata

Where You Can Find It: Norma’s, New York

Price: $1,000

What Makes It So Expensive: The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata contains 10 ounces of sevruga caviar, one pound of lobster, six eggs, cream and chives. While that might not sound that impressive, consider the fact that the restaurant has to pay $65 per ounce for that particular caviar.

8. The Most Expensive Bagel

Where You Can Find It: Westin Hotel, New York

Price: $1,000

What Makes It So Expensive: Executive Chef Frank Tujague topped the most expensive bagel with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry-infused Riesling jelly and gold leaf. At least a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Les Amis d’Escoffier Scholarship, which benefits current and future culinary students.

9. The Most Expensive Pizza

Where You Can Find It: Margo’s Pizzeria, Malta

Price: $2,400

What Makes It So Expensive: Up to 100 grams of white truffles and gold leaf. Orders must be placed one week in advance and, on the bright side, the chain gives all the money from this particular pie away to charity.

11. The Most Expensive Hot Dog

Where You Can Find It: Capitol Dawg, Sacramento

Price: $145.49

What Makes It So Expensive: The California Capitol City Dawg is a ¾ pound, 18” all-beef frank with French mustard, garlic and herb mayo, sautéed shallots, mixed baby greens, applewood smoked uncured bacon, Swedish moose cheese (which costs $200 a pound), tomato, dried cranberries, pepper and a basil olive oil/cranberry-pear-coconut balsamic vinaigrette. It is then served in an herb focaccia roll toasted in white truffle butter.

12. The Most Expensive Ramen

Where You Can Find It: Fujimaki Gekijyo, Tokyo

Price: $110 per bowl

What Makes It So Expensive: This isn’t the ramen you snacked on during your college days. Owner/chef Shoichi Fujimaki opens the doors to his menu-less, reservation-only restaurant to those who have already dined at one of his other restaurants. Once you get access to the restaurant, you will be served the Five-Taste Blend Imperial Noodles made with over twenty ingredients and two different soup stocks.

13. The Most Expensive Soup

Where You Can Find It: Kai Mayfair, London

Price: $190 per bowl

What Makes It So Expensive: The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall contains shark’s fin, abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber, dried scallops, chicken, huan ham, pork and ginseng. Orders must be placed five days in advance so the chef can source all the ingredients.

14. The Most Expensive Sushi

Where You Can Find It: Request it From Filipino Chef Angelito Araneta Jr.

Price: $1,978.15 for five pieces

What Makes It So Expensive: Well, each piece of sushi is wrapped in gold leaf and topped with caviar, three Mikimoto pearls and served with a diamond. No word on what fish was actually used on the inside of the sushi rolls, but I’m kind of hoping it’s imitation crab.

15. The Most Expensive Ham

Where You Can Find It: The Food Hall in Sefridges, London

Price: $2,682 for a 15 pound ham (about $180 a pound)

What Makes It So Expensive: The Albarragena Jamon Iberico de Bellota is made from pigs that were only fed acorns and roots to give them a distinctive flavor. The ham is then cured for three years before being put in a handmade wooden box with an apron handmade by a Spanish tailor. And just so you know what you’re getting, each ham comes with its own DNA certificate confirming its authenticity.

Personally, I find it to be cheating when a restaurant serves their “most expensive” food item with an expensive bottle of wine or a diamond accessory. What do you guys think? Is it cheating to throw something extra in with the food items? And lastly, if you were going to indulge in one of these, which would you choose?

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9 Chilly Facts About Frozen Food Pioneer Clarence Birdseye
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Whenever you grab a frozen dinner for a quick, prep-free meal, you're in some debt to Clarence "Bob" Birdseye (1886–1956). The inventor was the pioneer of the flash-freeze method, which turned the frozen food industry into a billion-dollar enterprise. Check out some facts on Birdseye's life that reveal his genius as a food innovator and why we came close to enjoying frozen alligator.

1. HE WAS A FUR TRADER.

Like many geniuses, Birdseye didn't have his life entirely mapped out. Hoping to become a biologist, he enrolled at Amherst College in 1910 but couldn't complete his studies because tuition was too expensive. Instead, he became a field naturalist for the U.S. Biological Survey. In 1912, he joined a six-week medical mission in Labrador, Canada. There, in his spare time, he worked in fur trading. This experience proved be a crucial turning point in Birdseye's life.

2. HE WAS INSPIRED BY THE INUIT.

While on the trip, Birdseye observed Inuit performing their own version of flash-freezing. After catching fish, they would use a careful balance of ice and environmental conditions to instantly freeze their food without destroying it. (The air was so cold—sometimes as low as -45°F—that caught fish would essentially freeze in mid-air.) When the fish thawed, Birdseye was delighted to find that it still tasted good. The difference was that foods frozen slowly formed cell- and flavor-destroying ice crystals, while quick-frozen (or "flash-frozen") foods did not. Thinking he could adapt the same principles to other foods like vegetables, Birdseye returned to the States in 1917 with the ambition of developing a quick-freeze machine. By 1923 he was experimenting with various methods in his kitchen in the suburbs of New York City. One involved rabbit meat, candy boxes, and dry ice.

3. HE DEVELOPED TWO METHODS FOR QUICK-FREEZING.

Eager to replicate the Inuit way for mass production, Birdseye came up with two novel methods for quick-freezing foods. Using calcium chloride, Birdseye could chill metal belts to -45°F and press the food between them, speeding up the freezing process. He then improved this process by using hollow metal plates filled with an ammonia-based refrigerant. When squeezed between these plates, meat and vegetables could be frozen in 30 to 90 minutes. 

4. PEOPLE WERE WARY OF FROZEN FISH.

While his ingenuity would ultimately prove successful, at first people were highly suspicious of frozen seafood. Consumers had no basis for comparison and didn't know what to expect when it came to taste; railroads and store owners, meanwhile, were worried they might be held liable if thawed food made people sick. But there was enough potential that Birdseye sold his company, General Seafood Corporation, to Postum in 1929. (Postum later changed its name to General Foods.)

5. HE SPEARHEADED THE ENTIRE FROZEN FOOD INDUSTRY.

Before Birdseye's patented methods, no one really stored or ate frozen foods (then called “frosted foods”) owing to their terrible taste—it was so noxious that New York State even banned using it to feed prisoners. In order to get the general public to accept frozen foods as a viable market product, Birdseye—who was still working for General Foods after the sale—needed to develop packaging, freezer cases, and transportation methods. It was an arduous process involving test markets and large-scale salesmanship, but by 1944, refrigerated boxcars were carrying Birdseye (labeled Birds Eye) products to stores across the country, and customers were bringing them home to store in their newly bought home freezers.

6. HE TRIED FREEZING EVERYTHING. EVEN ALLIGATORS.

Birdseye was virtually obsessed with finding the potential limits to the food-freezing process. Toiling at his factory in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Birdseye experimented with almost anything he could get his hands on. In addition to fish, meats, and vegetables, he also tried freezing porpoise, whale, shark, and an alligator.

7. HE REINVENTED THE PEA.

While he was busy amassing his frozen food empire, Birdseye actually had a material effect on one food's appearance. By blanching green peas before freezing them, Birdseye noticed that the vegetable would turn a vibrant green. The colorful pea soon became a staple of the frozen vegetable market.

8. HE ALSO CHANGED THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY.

Birdseye was constantly on the lookout for ways to perfect his flash-freezing production process. Acknowledging that frozen food packages would develop condensation, he looked toward the French invention, Cellophane, to wrap his fish. But the packaging would disintegrate once it got wet. Birdseye convinced Cellophane's manufacturer, DuPont, to create a moisture-proof version. He was its only customer until cigar and cigarette companies realized that the material would keep their products dry.

9. HE WAS BUSY UNTIL THE END.

Birdseye died in 1956 at the age of 69, but age hadn't slowed his ambition. At the time of his death, he was hoping to perfect a process by which sugar cane could be turned into pulp for paper. Today, his Birds Eye products continue to populate virtually every frozen food section of every supermarket in the country.

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Does More Fat Really Make Ice Cream Taste Better?
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Cholesterol. Sugar. Carbs. Fat. As diet-trend demons come and go, grocery store shelves fill with products catering to every type of restriction. But as any lifelong snacker knows, most of these low-sugar/carb/fat options can't hold a candle to the real thing when it comes to taste. Or can they? Scientists writing in the Journal of Dairy Science say fat may be less important to ice cream's deliciousness than we thought.

Food researchers at Penn State brought 292 ice cream fans into their Sensory Evaluation Center and served each person several small, identical, unlabeled bowls of vanilla ice cream made with a range of fat levels: 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent, or 14 percent. The participants were asked to taste and compare the samples.

The researchers had two questions: Could participants tell the difference between varying fat levels? And if so, did they care?

The answer to the first question is, "It depends." Taste-testers' tongues could spot the fat gap of 4 percent between dishes of 6 percent and 10 percent. But when that range moved to 8 percent and 12 percent, they no longer noticed. 

More interestingly, reducing fat levels didn't have much effect on their interest in eating that ice cream again. They were equally interested in having a bowl of ice cream that had 6 percent fat and one that had 14 percent.

It's a bit like plain and pink lemonade, co-author John Hayes said in a statement. "They can tell the difference when they taste the different lemonades, but still like them both. Differences in perception and differences in liking are not the same thing."

Co-author John Coupland notes that removing fat from ice cream doesn't necessarily make it better for you. For this study, the researchers used the common industry trick of replacing fat with a cheap, bulk-forming starch called maltodextrin.

"We don't want to give the impression that we were trying to create a healthier type of ice cream," Coupland said.

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