most expensive spices

Natural Treasure: Most Expensive Spices

Some spices in the world are special and can give additional uniqueness to many cuisines, so they are considered as most expensive spices.

Spices can make food more delicious or colorful. To make the best quality spices, some specific treatments are needed. Even the growing places need to meet specific conditions. That is why these most expensive spices have reasonably high values.

pasilla de oaxaca chili

Pasilla de Oaxaca Chili

Ranked tenth among the most expensive spices, Pasilla de Oaxaca chili, is a rare smoke-dried and much hotter version of Pasilla chilis. As the name suggests, this chili pepper is from Mexico, particularly the region of Oaxaca.

Pasilla de Oaxaca chili costs about $35 per kilogram in its original place, but the value goes up to about $132 per kilogram when it is imported. The average cost itself is about $64, which places the chili pepper on this list. The spiciness of this chili pepper can be felt in sauces, salsas, soups, and others.

green cardamom

Green Cardamom

With a price of up to $70 per kilogram, green cardamom is the most expensive spices kind of cardamoms. This spice is better to be harvested before it gets too old, and it is great to be ground and added to both savory and sweet foods with its great taste.

For that reason, green cardamom is used in savory Indian dishes and in some sweet Scandinavian cuisines like the Finnish bread called ‘pulla’. This spice is good for the human body when it is consumed as it can make blood pressure lower.

grains of paradise

Grains of Paradise

Adding a couple of dollars more from green cardamom, you can get another kind of spice from the most expensive spices, which is grains of paradise. This West African origin ginger family member spice is also known as melegueta pepper or alligator pepper.

The rare and expensive seeds of grains of paradise have an aromatic flavor that can be used both for food and medical purposes like medicines.

kaffir lime leaves

Kaffir Lime Leaves

As challenging as they are to be picked, the $79 price tag of kaffir lime leaves will make them worth the thorn-fighting effort. These leaves from the most expensive spices originated in a southeast Asian country, Thailand.

Right now, there are also some kaffir lime leaves plantations in Florida and California for the convenience of the people in the Western Hemisphere. These dark green leaves contain a lot of vitamin C and can be found in curries, soups, stir-fries, and some food with rice.

black cumin seed

Black Cumin Seed

This most valuable kind of cumin seeds has a citrus-like flavor and is sweeter and darker compared to the regular ones. On average, one kilogram of black cumin seeds will cost you up to $86.

Black cumin seeds are commonly used for vegetables, bread, and ground meats for additional flavor. Not only that, but the seeds are also used to cure illnesses such as asthma, rheumatism, and bronchitis in some areas in South East Asia and the Middle East.

Furthermore, black cumin seeds can also be extracted from organic oil. More than 100 minerals and vitamins are contained in the organic oil, which makes it great for cooking and skin care as it can reduce blemishes and fine lines.

long pepper

Long Pepper

The next spice from the most expensive spices is long pepper or pipli. Pipli is a brown and long fruit with a rough texture from a vine plant. This rare and hot pepper can be found in some food from Indonesia, India, and Africa. However, the cheaper black pepper is more commonly used due to the expensive price of $103 per kilogram.



From inside St. Lucie cherries, you can find the valuable mahlab. Mahlab is the seed kernel of the cherries, and the process of getting it, by opening the cherry pits, is neither easy nor fast. That is why this spice can reach the price of $152 per kilogram, making it among the most expensive spices.

Mahlab is not so popular in the United States and Europe even though it is used in Greece and the Middle East for various dishes there. This spice can be bought as ground or whole seed kernels, which is better to keep the original flavor.

vanilla bean

Vanilla Bean

From here, the price of these most expensive spices will only get even more insane. Although it is not yet the most expensive spices in the world, vanilla bean is the third highest-priced spice, and it already reaches $440 per kilogram. This one of Indonesia’s spices is so expensive because of its rarity, like some others as well.

A lot of vanilla farmers do not produce vanilla flowers anymore since people choose to buy the cheaper synthetic vanilla option. Not only that, but usually vanilla flowers just bloom once for an entire year. On that specific day, the flowers need to be harvested and processed to be vanilla beans that are ready to sell.

fennel pollen

Fennel Pollen

With a kilogram price of $990, fennel pollen is ranked second among the most expensive spices by weight. It is costly not because it is rare but for the time and effort that is taken to make even a very few amounts of the spice.

Fennel plantation can be found in Tuscany, Italy. In fact, growing fennel is not a very difficult task as you can do it as well. Fennel pollen can be used for both foods, as it is popular with the world’s best chefs and medicines.

This one of the most expensive spices is good for the digestion system as it acts as detoxification. It can also help to reduce cataracts and even to heal snakebite wounds.



Among the most expensive herbs and spices, saffron is the one that takes home the crown as the highest-priced spice in the world setting you back a whopping $2,200 for every kilogram of the spice. You can buy a lot of fancy things with that amount of money. It is not a surprise that people call saffron ‘red gold’.

Saffron gets that expensive as it is not easy to be made as a spice. It is made from red stigmas of handpicked crocus flowers, which are then called saffron threads. It is so rare as it needs more than 350,000 of those handpicked flowers for just one kilogram of saffron. You can get some of these most expensive spices from Spice and Co. If you want to try some of those for your cooking, you definitely need to sacrifice your savings. However, the things that the spices give you make them worth the price.


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