Welcome back to this week’s version of The Ranking World. Hope you missed us cause we missed you too. This week we decided to present to you a ranking based on food and what do we use to cook our daily meals?. it’s spices!!!.

Spices have been part of human history for a long time. It has been traded by different nations and civilisations over the centuries; it is even said that some nations were discovered by traders while searching for spices, even now in most homes you’ll find a cup of spice neatly tucked away somewhere in the kitchen drawers.this shows the importance of spices to our daily cuisine. so here’s our list of TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE SPICES IN THE WORLD.


#10. CLOVES ($133/POUND)


For the 10th spot on our list, we have cloves spices originating from the Latin word “clavus” which cost about $133/pound. they are flower buds from the clove tree which are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia.

They are known for their powerful aromatic scent and are usually used in the cuisine of Asian and middle eastern countries. They are used to lend their aroma to beverages such as tea and coffee and are usually mixed with lemon or tea. They are used in baked goods such as cookies, cakes and bread to give an aromatic flavour to them. It is also used by perfume companies in order to give a musky and sharp undertone to their perfumes. Rumour has it that in china a certain emperor demanded his subjects to chew on cloves cleaves before speaking to him in his palace in order to freshen their breath.



For the 9th spot on our list we have kaffir lime leaves also known as Makrut lime or Indonesian lime, which cost about $233/pound. it is a type of citrus fruit which is native to southeast Asia and it used as a spice their cuisine. It is an easy to grow tree and is usually found in southeast Asian countries like Thailand, although commercial production is fairly limited, thus making it an expensive spice.

it is loved by the people of Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia for its intense citrus flavour, which is used either fresh or dried for their soups, stews and salads. It is also used for medicinal purposes as the juice of the fruit is used by locals as hair shampoo due to the belief is helps to kill head lice.



For the 8th spot on our list we have Black Cumin also called cumin seeds which sell at $250/pound. it is native to mostly north Africa particularly Egypt and Iran. its seeds are normally roasted and ground in order to make it into a spice.

The black cumin seed differs from the regular cumin seed that we all know. It has smaller seeds and is thinner and darker than the regular ones. When roasted or dried, it has a richer flavour, eminent nutty undertones and a powerful lemon taste, thus making it a great addition to most curry and meat dishes.



For the 7th spot on our list we have Grains of Paradise also known locally as guinea pepper or alligator pepper, which sell at $250/Pound. it is native to west Africa and with its gaining popularity in other parts of the world one can see its cost increase as well.

The Grains of Paradise are a staple in most African cuisine and its seeds are known for its pyramid shaped seeds which exude a peppery but aromatic flavour. Sometimes it is even sprinkled over already finished food in place of real pepper.

The grain is of such high importance that in 1469, King Afonso of Portugal gave exclusive trade rights to a Portuguese merchant for 5 years off the coast of Africa while the trader was to pay a fee of 10000 real annually to the Crown. It has also been known to be used as a medium of divination in some African tribes in order to determine guilty parties.

#6. CARDAMOM ($268/POUND).

CARDAMOM SEEDS Image by Amatus Sami Tahera from Pixabay

For the 6th place on our list we have Cardamom seeds which sell at $268/Pound, its seed must be harvested by hands thus adding to the cost of the spice. They are native to both tropical and subtropical Asia but are also cultivated in Tanzania and Guatemala. as of now Guatemala is the biggest producer and exporter of the Cardamom.

The Cardamom seeds are of two varieties with the most common being the green cardamom and black cardamom, but all varieties are easily recognisable because of their small seed pods which are spindle-shaped and triangular in cross-section. the pods are known for their strong herbal aroma and minty flavour which make it a staple used in the baking of bread, brewing of teas and making of other spice blends.


SOURCE: Takeaway, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For the 5th spot on our list we Long Pepper also known as Pipli which sells at $419/Pound. the plant is native to India. it is an old and when known type of spice that has been used for centuries by different nations and civilisations such as the Romans and Greeks.

Centuries ago, during the roman era, this spice was a staple in most European dishes, but ever since the discovery of the Americas, the chilli has replaced the long pepper in most European cuisine. The chilli pepper is preferred because of its ease of growing in a variety of locations in Europe, its similarity in taste to long pepper when dried and also its cheapness when compared to long pepper.

However, nowadays, long pepper is still added to food in Pakistan, India and Nepal, such as their broths and soups, as it adds a nice mellow flavour to it. It is also believed to cure many medical ailments such as cancer, which creates a high demand for it and, when combined with its limited production, thus making it a very pricey spice.



For the 4th spot on our list we have fennel pollen which sell at $421/Pound. it is native to Mediterranean shores but is now grown widely in different parts of the world, especially on soils close to river banks and sea beaches. the pollen which is the most powerful part of the fennel plant is difficult to come by since it must be harvested by hand thus making it a very expensive spice.

The fennel pollen is a highly flavourful herb and aromatic herb as it adds citrusy undertone to when added to dishes, thus transforming ordinary dishes into something special. Many countries in the middle east use in their daily dishes as it can be sprinkled over roasted beef and vegetables. It is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as absynthe as it is one if its mains ingredients.



For the 3rd spot on our list we have the Vanilla Bean which sells at $540/POUND. it native to Mexico and was first produced there in the 15th century by the native Aztec population. The labourious process of cultivating vanilla pods makes it one of the most expensive spices ever as their vines take up to four years to mature and the fact that each fruit matures at its own time, thus requiring daily harvest. Also, the prices for vanilla extract vary from region to region as the Mexican variety will cost more than the Madagascan variety.

The vanilla extract is known for its powerful aroma and intense flavour, so much so that it has been recognised as the world’s most popular aroma. when the extracts is added to dishes, it gives a yellow or brown colouration to dishes. It is mostly used in production of vanilla flavoured ice cream and production of baked goods such as cookies, cakes and bread. It is also used in the perfume industry due to its powerful and recognisable aroma.

#2. MAHLAB($718/POUND).

For the 2nd spot on our list, we have Mahlab, also known as Mahalepi, which sells at $718/Pound. The spice is gotten from the seeds of the cherry in the Mahlab or St lucie tree, which grows around the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The mahlab spice isn’t difficult to produce when compared to other spices but it is costly due to the limited number of cherry pits worldwide.

The Mahleb spice is gotten from cracking cherry stones of the Mahlab tree, which produce the seed kernel, which are then ground to produce the Mahleb spice or sold whole. Mahlab spice when ground has a mild, delicately sweet flavour, and is used sparsely to sweeten baked goods like Greek sweetbreads and cakes.

#1. SAFFRON ($2400/POUND).


For the number #1 spot on our list, we have the Saffron spice, which sells at a whopping $2400/Pound. It has long been recognised as the world’s costliest spice and, depend on demand, it can even be costlier than gold. It is native to Iran, where it has been produced for hundreds of years, also iran produces 90% of the world’s high grade saffron.

The saffron spice is noted for its metallic honey and hay-like aroma, and its taste is noted for its sweet hay-like aroma. it adds an orange-yellow colouring to food and is widely used in European, Indian and Arab cuisine such as the Italian “rissotto” and Spanish “paella”.

The harvesting of the saffron flower is a time-consuming, manual process, which is limited to just three weeks in a year, where each flower has three stigmas and it takes 50,000 to 80,000 flowers to produce one pound of dried saffron threads, totalling to over 25 hours of labour. All this adds up to make the Saffron spice the most expensive spice in the world.

Well, that’s it for this weeks version of world rankings we hope you enjoyed our list of the most expensive spices in the world, which are your favourites and which do you usually add to your dishes when cooking and also which is native to your country please let us know in the comment section below.

If you’re interested in other articles, you can please check out TOP 10 BEST LATIN QUOTES IN THE WORLD, TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE SPICES IN THE WORLD, and TOP 10 WORLD MYTHS DEBUNKED.


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