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20 Rare Foods You Should Try If You Can

Learn about some of the rarest food items in the world.

Different cultures have foods considered rare delicacies, often reserved for special occasions or the elite class. The rarest foods in the world range from extraordinarily delicious to simple but sought after.

Kopi Luwak, coffee, raw material for rarest most expensive coffee in world.

If you’re an adventurous food-lover who loves to find super unique and strange foods, you can find them on this list!

From chickens with black skin to sashimi made from poisonous fish to cheese infested with maggots, these funky foods will blow your mind.

Rarest Food in the World

Keep reading to learn more about 20 of the rarest foods in the world coveted as luxury dishes! How many of these would you be willing to try?


Almas Caviar

You’ve probably heard of caviar, but Almas caviar is an extra special type of caviar.

It’s a sturgeon roe that has some very high standards to meet. It can only come from the rare Iranian Beluga and must come from a designed region in the South Caspian Sea.

Not too intense, right? Wrong! The Iranian Beluga also has to be albino, a super rare occurrence!

It has the expected salty and fishy caviar taste, but its mystical origins make it very rare and expensive.


Kobe Beef

Kobe beef, a type of wagyu, is a Japanese steak from Tajima black cattle raised in Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture, which has strict rules concerning what the cattle eat, the environment they stay in, how much exercise they get, and more.

The result is a rich and beautifully-marbled beef with a buttery-soft texture and unmatched meaty flavor.


Saffron

Saffron, although well-known, is rarer than you may think.

It comes from a flower called crocus sativus, which is high in antioxidants and flavor.

Not only is saffron healthy, but it has a distinctive fragrant flavor that is luxurious and subtly sweet.

It’s most popular in paella, an iconic and delectable Spanish dish that combines seafood and rice.


White Truffles

White truffles, also called winter truffles, Piedmont truffles, or Alba truffles, are among the rarest foods in the world and one of the most expensive.

People covet these truffles because of the intense and aromatic flavor that will knock your socks off.

The slightly spicy flavor with strong notes of garlic can elevate any dish, but for a steep price.


Matsutake Mushroom

The matsutake mushroom is a rare delicacy from China with thick white flesh and an earthy but spicy taste.

These mushrooms don’t grow in abundance, which is one of the reasons it is so coveted.

The pungent woody flavor is immediately recognizable and delicious.


Casu Marzu

Sometimes called “the world’s most dangerous cheese,” this is a type of sheep milk from the Italian island of Sardinia that consists of live insects similar to maggots.

It sounds disgusting, but it’s highly sought after and quite expensive.

It surpasses the fermentation stage and reaches the decomposition stage, thanks to the maggots, which create a decadent and luxurious flavor.

This is a pretty weird food – do you think you’d try it?


Yubari King Melon

The Yubari King melon is a type of cantaloupe from Japan.

These melons need constant attention and care, so you could call them high maintenance.

They take 100 days to grow and have a heavenly sweet nectar taste ad melt-in-your-mouth texture.


Bird’s Nest Soup

Bird’s nest soup is a Japanese delicacy that consists of hardened saliva from swiftlet nests which dissolves in the broth.

It’s one of the rarest foods in the world because of the effort it takes to collect the ingredients and because it may offer significant health benefits and have medicinal properties.


Black Truffles

Unsurprisingly, black truffles made this list.

Also known as Perigord truffles or French black truffles, these fancy mushrooms are less expensive than white truffles but still costly and delicious.

They have a wonderful aromatic flavor that can elevate and complement many other ingredients, especially starches and proteins.


Caffe Raro

Caffe Raro is a type of coffee drink that combines Jamaican Blue Mountain beans and Kopi Luwak beans; the ladder is extremely rare and exclusive.

You can find this expensive cup of coffee at a department store in London and experience its complex and tasty flavor.


Densuke Watermelon 

This type of watermelon comes from Japan and can cost thousands of dollars.

The exterior and interior are black with an unusual crispness that offers a super sweet and distinct flavor.

It’s also practically seedless naturally! The main difference between this and standard watermelons is the appearance and extra sweet flavor.


Donkey Cheese

Donkey cheese is so rare because it’s complicated to produce.

Only about 100 female Balkan donkeys get milked, and it takes 6.5 gallons of milk to churn just over two pounds of cheese.

Two pounds may sound like a lot, but from over six gallons, it’s puny. 


Ayam Cemani

An Ayam Cemani is a unique type of chicken from Indonesia with hyperpigmentation that makes its feathers completely black.

Both the chicken’s meat and the eggs are Indonesian delicacies. And the chicken’s skin is also black, making for an extraordinary appearance when cooked.


Raw Puffin Heart

Puffins are small seabirds with colorful beaks. The raw heart of a puffin is a traditional delicacy from Iceland.

It has a distinct fishy, beef-jerky flavor that is robust and unique.

The texture is similar to liver dishes, with a smooth and slippery character that is slightly chewy.


Abalone

Abalone is a type of mollusk found in coastal saltwater.

They can be as large as ten inches wide, and the mollusk mussel inside the shell is quite large.

It has a luxurious flavor that is buttery and salty with a chewy but soft texture.

It’s becoming rarer as the species’ population is critically low.


Fugu

Fugu is a pufferfish or blowfish that when unprepared, is extremely poisonous to humans.

It typically gets served as sashimi and nabemo. It has a complex flavor that is somehow delicate but prominent at the same time.

The fish has a meaty but tender texture similar to raw salmon.


Ruby Roman Grapes

Ruby Roman grapes are plump grapes cultivated with the utmost care and attention.

They are grown in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture, and the greenhouse environment is controlled and monitored closely.

One bunch can cost a thousand dollars. They have a uniquely sugary flavor that is refreshing and decadent.


Sea Cucumber

Sea cucumber is a delicacy associated with status, most popular in China, and reserved for special occasions.

These weird-looking sea creatures have a rather bland and unmemorable taste, similar to cabbage or water chestnuts.

Sea cucumbers are a unique type of seafood in a league of their own!


Iberian Ham

Iberian ham is rare but one of the easier foods to find on this list.

It’s the shoulder of a pig that has been acorn-fed its whole life.

The thick veins of fat make it extra tender and juicy, with a more complex and intense flavor.


Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is a special type of coffee that contains partially digested coffee cherries.

These cherries are eaten and digested by Asian palm civets, a small mammal from the viverrid family from Asia.

It offers a strange and funky taste, so mostly a novel item, not a luxury one.


Rarest Food in the World

  1. Almas Caviar
  2. Kobe Beef
  3. Saffron
  4. White Truffles
  5. Matsutake Mushroom
  6. Casu Marzu
  7. Yubari King Melon
  8. Bird’s Nest Soup
  9. Black Truffles
  10. Caffe Raro
  11. Densuke Watermelon
  12. Donkey Cheese
  13. Ayam Cemani
  14. Raw Puffin Heart
  15. Abalone
  16. Fugu
  17. Ruby Roman Grapes
  18. Sea Cucumber
  19. Iberian Ham
  20. Kopi Luwak

Would You Try These Rare Foods

Some of the rarest foods are pretty unusual – would you be willing to try them?

Keep in mind that many of these foods are also some of the most expensive foods, in large part due to their rarity.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.