World’s Most Expensive Meals – Gourmet Gluttony!

What would you pay for a plate of pasta? According to statistics, you are willing to pay top dollar for well-made pasta because you value a quality meal. Despite the recession, statistics reveal that even the most price-conscious patron is willing to shell down a high price for a good meal. Surely gourmet gluttony is not a sin?

The packed high-end restaurants make you wonder if the financial situation is so bad after all. The body language of people eagerly waiting to get inside these expensive restaurants says “money doesn’t matter tonight,” even if they know they are going to be spending above $500 per head.

Agreed, the wonderful aromas, the soft music, the well-dressed clientele – all create a beautiful ambiance. But is it really worth that premium? Apparently, the answer is a resounding YES.

Who cares anymore about the age-old belief that “the best things in life are free.” It’s our perceptions about enjoyment and good food that have changed. For those with deep pockets, the food keeps getting more and more interesting.

Check out the minimum you would be spending at some of the restaurants around the world, according to Forbes:

New York: Masa’s in Manhattan – Minimum per person $500
San Francisco: The French laundry – 24-course culinary journey menu $195
Sydney: Wakuda Tetsuya’s Tetsuya – 10-course minimum $195
Paris: Alain Passard’s L’Arpege – Compulsory nine-course tasting menu $495
Catalonia: Ferran Adria’s El Bulli – Minimum cost $300
London: Restaurant Gordon – Ramsay’s seven-course tasting menu starts at $224

They say drinks are expensive, but if you visit some of the restaurants, you would find a pizza going for as much as £6,700. This fast and greasy food is usually a cheap treat and not considered an elegant delicacy. Agropoli in the south of Italy changed all that with their “Ludovic XIII.” This is not the average pepperoni-topped pie. The crust is topped with lobster, tuna caviar and a pouring of Louis XIII Martin cognac. With the ingredients that go into it, not sure how far the taste matches the price. But obviously, there is a huge demand for it.

Steve, a dining enthusiast says, “At this point in time, when it may not be possible to spend big money on cars, holidays, jewelry or art, it’s only natural that you want to indulge in a nice drink and a lavish meal to get the “feel good” vibe. The restaurant owners say that these meals have been created for very exclusive guests who can appreciate the finest things in life.

If you think these foods are expensive, look at the dessert wars. Stephen Bruce, owner of Serendipity 3 in New York, has set a world record for the most expensive dessert. His restaurant was famous previously for the Golden Opulence Sundae, which costs $1,000 (£500) for five scoops of Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, Madagascar vanilla and one of the world’s most expensive Amedei Porceleana chocolate. Believe it or not, you can start eating gold with the 23K edible gold leaf they serve.

Stephen has now partnered with luxury jeweler Euphoria and the Knipschildt Chocolatier to create the “Frozen Haute Chocolate.” This got him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in the world for the most expensive dessert in the world. It costs $25,000 and contains a blend of 28 different cocoas, including 14 of the most expensive and exotic from around the globe. This dessert also comes with 23-karat gold (five grams) and is served in an edible gold-lined goblet. The base of the goblet is circled with an 18-karat gold bracelet with one carat of white diamonds. This sundae is topped with whipped cream covered with more gold and a side of La Madeline au Truffle. The spoon used to eat this sundae is gold-decorated with white and chocolate colored diamonds, and the best part is that it can be taken home.

Restaurants are doing all they can to get people to spend more. A recent study concludes that people are usually influenced to indulge on pricey wines, luxurious desserts and fancy coffees when there is classical music being played. Do people really spend for quality or just for the atmosphere or to generally feel good about being able to afford the good things in life or to feel cultured? Just a way of life for some and an extravaganza for others! Whatever the reason, there are takers from around the world for foods that are as expensive as mentioned above. What would be the maximum you would spend on a meal?