Herbs and spices are terms that we commonly use interchangeably. But, traditionally, spices are made out of roots, bark, seeds, etc., while herbs are almost always dried out leaves. At least that’s what my momma taught me. As you probably know, some spices can cost you an arm and a leg, so let’s see just how high those prices can go! Spoiler alert: they are not cheap!
Here are the top 7 most expensive spices!
1. Asafoetida (Hing) – $100/kg
Asafoetida comes from Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan, and has a pungent, unpleasant odor that only a mother could love. It’s also used instead of garlic in some dishes. The spice itself is not a plant, but a dried juice extracted from the roots of a plant. It tastes and smells like onions and garlic, which changes to very pleasant when mixed with butter.
2. Pink Peppercorn – $100/kg
If you love pink peppercorn, you’re going to have to dish out anywhere from 50 to 100 US dollars. These little berries grow on trees, and their sweet taste and a delightful aroma have made them extremely popular.
3. Nutmeg – $600/kg
Depending on the type of spice, the price ranges from $100 to $600 per 1 kg. The whole process of preparing nutmeg is a very delicate procedure, performed manually, which is why it costs so much.
4. Cardamom – $350/kg
The first records of cardamom were found 4,000 BC on the clay tablets from ancient Babylon. India and Sri Lanka are the biggest suppliers, but it can be grown almost anywhere. Cardamom is considered a panacea for all diseases and is often called the “king of spices”.
5. Vanilla – $800/kg
Vanilla is the unripe fruit of an orchid, and one kilo of this fragrant spice costs $800. With properly stored, the fantastic smell of vanilla can stick around for 40 years. The price of it keeps growing, but the scientists are alarmed that more than 80% of the plantations may die of a fungal infection.
6. Saffron – $6,000/kg
One kilogram of saffron costs up to 6,000 US dollars. This is the only spice that’s been super expensive since the Middle Ages. The cheapest is the Iranian saffron, which costs $460/kg. The most expensive is Spanish. Real high-class saffron is sold per gram.
7. Wild Ginseng Root – $3,836/g
One gram of this spice will cost you 3,846 dollars! The rarity of this root justifies this steep price. Wild ginseng root is listed in the International Red Book, which is why $70,000 for 100g is a reasonable price!