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Eye on the Pie: Would Truffles by Any Other Price Taste So Sweet?

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

Eye on the Pie: Would Truffles by Any Other Price Taste So Sweet?

Andrew Ryan

I have never had a lot of money, so have never had the opportunity to be frivolous with it, and number one on the list of things I dislike spending money on is food. Since I decided I would learn to cook healthy and varied meals for myself, I haven’t felt right spending more than fifteen bucks on a meal for myself on the rare occasion I go out for dinner, because I’d rather be building a decent collection of books and rad shirts than sampling the culinary delights of Melbourne.

I gather that most people hold a different attitude towards dining than I, based on the prolificness of restaurants in major cities. It is not uncommon to spend upwards of two hundred dollars on a fine quality meal, and for those in the upper echelon of society, it will be a lot more. Where is the line that says a particular dish is worth seventy five dollars? Are the people spending so much money on rare delicacies prepared by a well renowned chef happier than I am when I successfully roast a chicken with a beer can up it’s butt?

It is common knowledge that people who have an innate desire to consume will work hard at earning money to fulfil this need. And while the purchase of the latest material possessions might placate them for a little while, the act of spending money can easily develop into an addiction, and this explains, the my mind at least, why there is still a market for super dooper expensive versions of the things not so affluent folk are happy to spend a fraction of the price on, in a time when it really isn’t necessary to flaunt one’s wealth in order to gain respect and admiration. There’s money there, it should be spent, so in the absence of fancy toys, why not some fancy food and drink?

Interested? FOR EXAMPLE:

The twenty five thousand dollar dessert called “Frrozen Haute Chocolate”. Made in New York, it’s made from a whole bunch of ridiculously rare and SECRET cocoas from around the world, shavings from a truffle worth over $2000, and to top it off, there are five grams of twenty four carat edible gold. You are also paying for the crystal goblet it’s served in, and the gold spoon encrusted with jewels, of which the latter is taken home. Not that any diner who orders this dish would really care so much about the addition of the fourteen thousand dollar spoon to their estate. Or maybe they would? For the novelty? The same way I would keep the toy snakes from my cocktail at a tiki bar maybe, except someone would be paid to make sure it stays safe in the mansion in the middle of some forest in Europe.

The world’s most expensive cheese is made from moose milk in Sweden, and goes for five hundred dollars for just under five hundred grams. If there is anything as unappealing and technically unnatural in terms food/drink, it has to be milk. Moose milk? Even worse. The high price comes from the fact that the cheese is made from the milk of the planet’s only tamed moose (three of them) or something. Fuck you guys. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. As far as I can tell, this company are the only moose cheese producers on the PLANET, so they’ve got the market to themselves. Nice work farm family.

What about decadent burgers? The one called simply, “The Burger” is exclusive to a West London branch of Burger King. Yep, the burger chain giant made a fancy-as-fuck burger, all proceeds going to charity of course. Ingredients include Wagyu beef- our favourite beer fed, human hand massaged meat product; white truffles (classic token expensive thing), onion tempura prepared in Cristal champagne, with some ham made from black, Spanish pigs that were cured for up to more than two years (HOLY SHIT I WANT TO TRY THAT HAM), served in an Iranian saffron and truffle bun. How much? One hundred and eighty six dollars. I doubt it comes in a meal combo.

And for you whisky lovers, just incase you don’t know already, the most expensive whisky is Dalmore 64 Trinistas- $160,100 for a bottle, or a more manageable $32,000 per shot. The only secrets I can gather from the recipe is that the finest ingredients were brewed/distilled/whatever for over 60 years. Righteous. And the bottle has a pretty solid, simple design. That definitely counts for something.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt from this list, it’s that rare equals expensive. But just because something exists and is rare, it does not mean it’s actually worth paying a massive amount of money for. Maybe old whisky is great, but it depends if you’re into woody flavours. And even then, do you like it because you actually like it? Or do you like simply because you know you’re supposed to appreciate that specific element of the drink. Same goes with truffles, saffron, beef all marbled with fat, distressed geese that have been brutally force fed all their lives, fish eggs from one part of the Russian coast… all the rare, expensive delicacies.

I can’t help thinking that I would rather give that amount of money to somewhere that needs it, like all the Pakistanis that are displaced and injured at the moment, or maybe even the Aboriginal communities in this country that are struggling to get a decent fucking house to shelter the whole family, that kind of thing. I’d like to think that this poverty thing I’ve been dealing with for a while
will help me deal with the wealth that I will surely amass in the future far better than the people I read about in the media.

But still, I would REALLY like to try that spanish ham. And would probably give that whisky a go if some Japanese business man was buying it for me.