The 15 Most Expensive Spices in the World

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Boost your life with these scrumptious seasonings! Uncover the most costly spices on the earth, from unique seeds to uncommon pollen.

Most Costly Spices within the World

Why are some spices costlier than others? It’s partly all the way down to the excessive value of manufacturing and in addition the price of importation. Having mentioned that, the overall value of spices has decreased over time.

In Roman instances, spices have been a standing image, consumed in massive portions by rich residents. Cinnamon and pepper have been in excessive demand and spice merchants travelled to Arabia and India to carry them again to Rome.

Discover the most costly spices in the world
Uncover the most expensive spices on the earth

Throughout the Center Ages, spices have been significantly costly in Europe. They have been used not just for cooking but additionally for medicinal functions and in non secular ceremonies.

In 1602, the Dutch East India Firm was established to carry spices similar to ginger, pepper corn and turmeric from Asia to Europe. The interval turned the Dutch Golden Age, because the Netherlands turned one of many wealthiest nations on the earth.

15. Black Pepper: $10/pound

Beforehand generally known as black gold as a result of the Romans paid for it with gold, this spice makes up 20% of the entire spice commerce worldwide.

Peppercorns come from a flowering vine of the Piperaceae household and are literally constructed from its fruit. A pound of black pepper can value as much as $10 per pound.

Black pepper from the town of Tellicherry in Kerala, India is taken into account to be among the many greatest pepper on the earth. There are fairly just a few well being advantages of black pepper. It incorporates the bioactive compound piperine which helps to enhance cognitive perform and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Whole black peppercorns
Entire black peppercorns – costliest spices on the earth

14. Cloves: $11/pound

Entire cloves are costly for a wide range of causes. These flower buds come from the Syzygium aromaticum, or clove tree, which has a yield of solely 2 to three kg per yr.

Cloves are delicate to climate circumstances and need to be picked by hand after they attain a selected size. These fragrant spices are used to make aromatic pomanders, and in addition as ant repellent.

Standard for seasoning meat and fruit, cloves are sometimes utilized in spice blends. You can too add cloves to sizzling drinks with lemon.

Whole cloves
Entire cloves – costliest spices on the earth

13. Pink Peppercorns: $23/pound

Regardless of their title, pink peppercorns aren’t really peppercorns. These dried berries come from the Schinus molle evergreen tree.

Native to the Peruvian Andes, this bush isn’t associated to industrial pepper. Often called the California pepper tree or Peruvian pepper tree, it yields these extremely prized berries.

Pink peppercorns have a fruity style that goes properly in salad dressings or with hen. Because the berries are fairly delicate, you shouldn’t use a pepper grinder on them.

Wealthy in dietary fiber and antioxidants, pink pepper is assumed to decrease blood sugar and to alleviate muscular aches.

Pink peppercorn berries
Pink peppercorn berries

12. Ceylon Cinnamon: $27/pound

Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamomum tree and is a well-liked spice all through the world. There are two varieties of cinnamon: cassia cinnamon from China and Indonesia and Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka, the Seychelles and Madagascar.

Ceylon cinnamon is way more costly than cassia cinnamon. A pound of cinnamon from Sri Lanka can value round $27 per pound whereas cassia cinnamon prices round $11.

Lighter in coloration, Ceylon cinnamon can be sweeter tasting and fewer spicy than cassia cinnamon. It additionally incorporates much less of the doubtless dangerous coumarin compound. Ceylon cinnamon is usually used to make the garam masala spice mix.

Over 90% of cinnamon bought within the USA is cassia cinnamon. Nevertheless, it’s Ceylon cinnamon that has the well being advantages, being anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and regulating blood sugar.

Ceylon cinnamon ticks and ground ceylon cinnamon
Ceylon cinnamon ticks and floor ceylon cinnamon

11. Black Cardamom: $28/pound

Nicknamed The Queen of Spices, black cardamom’s scientific title is Amomum subulatum. Rising on the slopes of the Himalayas in India, and Nepal, this spice is much like inexperienced cardamoms.

Nevertheless, black cardamoms have a smokier taste. These seeds develop in pods which comprise the darkish coloured seeds. For recipes, you’ll be able to add the entire pods to the pot and take away them earlier than serving resulting from their sturdy taste.

In addition to for cooking, black cardamom is utilized in Chinese language and Indian drugs to manage abdomen acid and enhance digestion. It’s also thought to steadiness blood stress.

Black cardamom pods
Black cardamom pods

10. Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile: $29/pound

This uncommon chile pepper comes from the Oaxaca area of Mexico. A lot hotter than conventional Pasilla chiles, this model is smoke-dried.

In Oaxaca Metropolis, this explicit pasilla chile prices round $16 per pound whereas it may well promote for $40 to $60 per pound within the U.S. You need to use Pasilla de Oaxaca chiles in salsas, sauces, soups and stews to provide a smoky taste while not having so as to add meat.

One other good technique to eat these costly Mexican chiles is full of cheese and deep fried.

Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles
Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles

9. Inexperienced Cardamom: $32/pound

Costlier than black cardamoms, the inexperienced selection has an intense taste that works properly in each candy and savory dishes. Inexperienced cardamoms are harvested earlier than they attain maturity, whereas black cardamoms are dried over a fireplace pit.

Standard in Indian delicacies, they’re additionally utilized in Scandinavian cooking for recipes similar to pulla, a Finnish cardamom bread. Typically, you take away the cardamom seeds from the pods simply earlier than utilizing them and grind them with a pestle and mortar.

Inexperienced cardamom powder is assumed to scale back irritation within the physique and to decrease blood stress. Cardamom incorporates a flavonoid named quercetin which lowers nervousness and despair in response to some research.

Fresh green cardamom pods
Recent inexperienced cardamom pods

8. Grains of Paradise: $33/pound

Often known as alligator pepper, Guinea grains or melegueta pepper, grains of paradise come from a plant originating in West Africa. The scientific title for this herbaceous perennial is Aframomum melegueta, which is a member of the ginger household.

Grains of paradise seeds are used as a spice because of their fragrant, peppery taste. They’re typically used within the spice mix ras el hanout.

This uncommon spice can be bought as grains of paradise extract for medicinal functions. Entire grains of paradise are additionally thought to have aphrodisiac qualities!

Grains of paradise spice
Grains of paradise spice

7. Kaffir Lime Leaves: $36/pound

As they have to be picked by hand from lengthy, thorny branches, kaffir lime leaves are costly. Often known as makrut lime, they’re native to South East Asia and extremely popular in Thailand.

Used as spices in curries, stir fries, rice dishes and soups, kaffir lime leaves are a darkish inexperienced coloration. Dried kaffir lime leaves might be present in specialist grocery shops worldwide.

Recent kaffir leaves are actually additionally grown in California and Florida. Kaffir is a superb supply of Vitamin C. In addition to for cooking, you should use this aromatic leaf in a sizzling bathtub by crushing it in your palms.

Leaf of bergamot (kaffir lime)
Leaf of bergamot (kaffir lime) – Most costly spices on the earth

6. Black Cumin Seed: $39/pound

Unlinke common cumin seeds that are brown, black cumin has a sweeter, citrus taste. To not be confused with black caraway seeds or nigella, the sort of cumin is thinner and darker.

The seeds are used complete and toasted to taste breads, tagines, greens and floor meat dishes. Black cumin seeds are additionally used within the Center East and South East Asia to alleviate circumstances similar to bronchitis, rheumatism and bronchial asthma.

Natural black cumin oil is used not just for cooking but additionally for skincare. It’s filled with over 100 nutritional vitamins and minerals and thought to assist combat effective strains and cut back blemishes.

Black cumin seeds and black cumin oil
Black cumin seeds and black cumin oil – costliest spices on the earth

5. Lengthy Pepper: $47/pound

Often known as pipli, lengthy pepper is the fruit of a flowering vine plant. With a particular conical look, this pricey spice was well-liked in African, Indonesian, Indian and Mediterranean cooking.

Throughout the first siege of Rome, a ransom of lengthy pepper, gold and silver was paid to Alaric I, King of the Visigoths to carry the siege. As a result of its excessive worth within the West, lengthy pepper is now a lot tougher to search out than common black pepper.

Nevertheless, this distinctive spice has a sizzling, earthy style that can be utilized in rasam spicy soup, lentil curries and marinades. Lengthy pepper is mixed with herbs in Ayurvedic drugs.

Dried long pepper and finely ground long pepper
Dried lengthy pepper and finely floor lengthy pepper – costliest spices on the earth

4. Mahlab: $69/pound

Generally written as mahleb, mahalepi or mayleb, this spice is the seed kernel of St. Lucie cherries. The explanation why mahlab is so costly is as a result of it’s a really prolonged course of to crack open the cherry pits.

The seed kernels are then dried earlier than being bought complete or floor. If you happen to can, purchase complete mahlab because it retains its taste for much longer than for floor mahlab. You’ll be able to then both grind it with a pestle and mortar or a pepper mill.

This spice is extensively utilized in Greek and Center Japanese cooking. Nevertheless, mahlab isn’t so well-known in the remainder of Europe and the US.

Mahlab seeds aremade from the seeds of a species of cherry
Mahlab seeds aremade from the seeds of a species of cherry

3. Vanilla Bean: $200/pound

There are just a few the explanation why vanilla is pricey. 80% of the world’s vanilla manufacturing comes from Madagascar, which is typically hit by cyclones affecting the crops.

Within the Eighties, customers primarily purchased low-cost artificial vanilla, so some vanilla farmers stopped producing it. Another excuse for the excessive worth of vanilla is because of theft.

Folks steal vanilla beans and due to this, some farmers decide them earlier than they’re ripe which lowers the standard. Furthermore, vanilla vines take between two to 4 years to succeed in maturity. Vanilla flowers usually solely bloom for someday a yr, and need to be pollinated on that someday to supply vanilla beans.

Vanilla pods containing tiny seeds are the actual deal, whereas essence of vanilla is a man-made selection.

Vanilla bean pods
Vanilla bean pods

2. Fennel Pollen: $450/pound

The second costliest spice on the earth is natural fennel pollen. Though it’s not troublesome to develop fennel, the pollen have to be picked by hand and has a really low yield of round a gram a time.

Most commercially grown fennel pollen comes from the Tuscany area of Italy. You’ll be able to really develop your individual fennel and shake the yellow flowers inside a ziplock bag in case you have the persistence.

Fennel pollen has a really distinctive style with notes of anise, citrus, liquorice, pepper and saffron. It’s well-liked with a number of the greatest cooks on the earth.

Fennel and its seeds and pollen have been used as an natural treatment for a bunch of aliments, together with digestive discomforts, and as a purifying meals for the physique, useful for pure detoxing, and weight reduction.

Fennel was believed useful in issues of the attention, and useful in decreasing cataracts within the aged. In historic Chinese language drugs, fennel was used as a treatment for snakebites.

Organic fennel pollen with fennel flowers and seeds
Natural fennel pollen with fennel flowers and seeds

1. Saffron: $1000/pound

The costliest spice by weight is pure saffron. Nicknamed purple gold, saffron is extremely prized for its wealthy style.

Saffron spice comes from the crocus flower and must be handpicked. Every flower has solely three purple stigmas, so that you’d must 170,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron. Only one gram of saffron can value as a lot as $9.

Saffron manufacturing is concentrated in Iran, though it’s now additionally harvested in Afghanistan, Spain and India. The saffron crocus stigmas are known as saffron threads as soon as they’re picked.

You need to use saffron to make a shellfish paella, risotta alla milanese or tahdig, a crispy rice dish. Consuming saffron water is assumed to provide your pores and skin a radiant glow, to assist fade blemishes and enhance its texture.

Best quality saffron threads
Highest quality saffron threads – costliest spices on the earth

Right here’s a recap of the most costly spices on the earth:

  1. Saffron
  2. Fennel Pollen
  3. Vanilla Bean
  4. Mahlab
  5. Lengthy Pepper
  6. Black Cumin Seed
  7. Kaffir Lime Leaves
  8. Grains of Paradise
  9. Inexperienced Cardamom
  10. Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile
  11. Black Cardamom
  12. Ceylon Cinnamon
  13. Pink Peppercorns
  14. Cloves
  15. Black Pepper

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The most expensive spices in the world
The costliest spices on the earth

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