You know the saying, “you are what you eat?” That saying is not always a euphemism referencing your attitudes towards healthy eating. It can also mean that your culinary diet is boring. Boring is not always bad, especially if you want to watch your weight, be healthy, and live on a fixed income. However, everyday life can be such a dreary slog to endure. And it’s worth noting that it’s always the little things in life that make life worth living. It’s OK to indulge in a guilty pleasure food, even a luxury food.
I am not talking about caviar on crepes or steamed, buttered lobster or steak topped with garlic and blue cheese butter sauce either.
Maybe it is odd to be writing about such things with a global pandemic and a global economic crisis.
But the point is that now more than ever, there are just too few things to enjoy in life.
Perhaps once in the next few years, you may want to indulge yourself in buying a luxury food item worth hundreds of dollars.
No, this wouldn’t be an everyday practice. It would be something adventurous to do in a culinary fashion.
At the very least, it can be something that you dream about aspiring to do in the future.
Because most Americans eat the same things every day without ever bringing some variety to their flavor palette.
Luxury Food Aspirations
Most people spend about $7,200 annually on food or about $7.64 for every meal.
What do you eat every day? I have eaten so many tuna fish, ham, and grilled cheese sandwiches in my lifetime that I can imagine their flavors by just imagining them.
I love peanut butter sandwiches as much as the next person, but I have never had a luxury food.
Do you know what the three most popular foods on planet Earth are for most people?
Pizza. Pasta. Hamburgers.
Here is a partial list of the most common foods eaten every day by people like you and me:
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Chicken breast
I diced up chicken breast in a stir fry not two nights ago to save money and eat healthier.
There must be more to life than this.
There is a $300 hamburger served in New York City that I want to try one day. (More on that later).
Will I eat $300 dollars every day? Of course not! But that is one luxury food item I want to try before my footprints fade from this Earth.
What is a luxury food item you would want to try?
Here is a list to get your mind percolating on the subject.
I know that paying for a luxury food item may be way outside your financial comfort zone. But isn’t OK to dream past an established flavor palette comfort zone?
A pound of ground beef costs about $5.70 a pound at your local supermarket.
Japanese Wagyu beef is a luxury food that costs about $200 per pound as a baseline price.
Only about 3,000 heads of Wagyu cattle can authentically qualify as high-grade Wagyu annually.
The beef you buy at the supermarket, the 80/20 lean-to-fat blend, was sourced from stressed, cheaply fed cows packed into slaughterhouses.
Wagyu beef cattle are fed proprietary feed blends made from rice, grass, wheat, corn, soybeans, and barley.
Some Wagyu cattle are gently massaged and given beer or sake to drink while listening to gentle classical music as they fatten up.
This unique fattening process creates beef that is beautifully marbled with fat. Well-cooked Wagyu beef almost melts in your mouth like butter.
Billion Dollar Popcorn
Berco’s Popcorn is a Chicago-based popcorn company that makes popcorn into a luxury food.
This popcorn is coated in edible flakes of 23-karat gold, Vermont cream butter, flavored with Nielsen-Massey bourbon vanilla, and seasoned with salt imported from the tiny Danish isle of Laeso.
You can buy a small batch for $5, a gallon tin for $250, or a 6.5 gallon tin for $2,500.
Serendipity 3’s Le Burger Extravagant
I love Burger King. You can get a Whopper value meal for about $6. But have you ever had a hamburger as a luxury food?
New York City’s Serendipity 3 restaurant serves a luxury food hamburger called Le Burger Extravagant. Until restaurants picked up on the craze of creating ever-more expensive luxury food items, the Le Burger Extravagant was once the world’s most expensive hamburger.
The Le Burger Extravagant is made with Japanese Wagyu beef and flavor-injected with decadent white truffle butter.
Then, the burger is topped with James Montgomery cheddar cheese slices and a fried quail egg.
The bread bun is dusted with edible gold flakes, topped with more white truffle butter, and a crème Fraiche & caviar blini.
Yubari King Melon
Gourmet fruit is considered a status symbol and a gift of prominence in Japan. Some fruits in Japan are considered luxury food items that must be auctioned off like priceless art.
Japan has finite stretches of real estate and only a select amount of prime fruit is grown each year. This practice creates rarity and expensiveness.
Yubari King melons are perfectly round, features raised-relief rind strands, and have an impossibly sweet taste. The trademark of this melon is the “T” shaped vine cutting at the top.
You can buy common varieties of Yubari King melons for anywhere between $50 to $500. The rarest and perfect specimen melons can be auctioned for $22,500 each, or more.
Luxury Food Aspirations
We are living in an era where money is tight for everyone. So, know that I am not suggesting that you run out and buy a $300 hamburger now.
Just remember that life is short. We don’t regret the things we have done as much as the things we didn’t do when we had the chance.
Expand your culinary options to the luxury food level at least once.
That tuna fish sandwich will be waiting for you.