If you always love to experience expensive food, mushrooms must be included in your dishes. It has been a very favored food since ancient times. It is highly praised for its aphrodisiac properties and is considered the number one healthy vegetable. Each mushroom species has its own medicinal and traditional uses and benefits.
Anyways, We all know that the world’s most expensive platters are mostly prepared from mushrooms. Mushrooms are pricey as well as healthy that no one can deny. The reason behind their being pricey is that they can not be grown on massive scales. Besides, they are hard to cultivate and difficult to find. The prices of the most expensive ones even vary from one another.
Here is a list of the world’s most expensive mushrooms to explore!
- Yartsa Gunbu
- European White Truffles
- Matsutake Mushroom
- Black Truffles
- Enoki Mushroom
- Porcini Mushroom
- Lion’s Mane
- Shiitake Mushroom
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Let’s see the details of the top 10 Most Expensive Mushrooms In The World
Price: $12-$24 per pound
The Shiitake Mushroom is the first fungus we are going to talk about. It is pronounced as Shee-TAH-Kay. The Chinese call it ‘Shinguy or Hsiang Ku’ that refers to ‘Fragrant mushroom’. Other names include Shanku, Black forest mushroom, etc. It is the second most widely eaten mushroom among mushroom consumers.
It is very much popular in Asian cuisines and even used as main dishes in Japan. It is native to East Asia, and 83% of Shiitake are produced in Japan. Shiitake is a brown-colored 2-4 inches mushroom and treated as a medicinal vegetable. The unique thing is its umami flavor with a basic taste called savory taste.
The health benefits of mushrooms are too many to be described. It normally grows on decomposing hardwoods and needs a very long time to be matured. The demand is too high as compared to productivity, which makes it a little pricey. Still, Shiitake is the best choice to include in your stir-fries, soups, stews, and other dishes.
Price: $8-$36 per pound
This name is particularly derived from Lion’s hair, considering the mushroom’s appearance. People also call this a Monkey head, Bearded tooth, Satyr’s beard, and Pompom mushroom. This North American fungus comes from the tooth fungus group.
This long, white, hairy mushroom flavors like seafood. You can easily find this mushroom in plenty in the late summer season to cook with your favorite dishes. People say this is a brain improving mushroom. The Chinese and Japanese use it in the treatment of spleen, gout, heart disease, and cancer to boost up the immune system. It is one of the most antioxidant-rich mushrooms that contains a rich amount of protein, polysaccharides to add to your diet.
Price: $55-$70 per pound, dried
It is a mushroom of the Northern Hemisphere and popular in Italian and French cuisines as an expensive mushroom. The nickname is ‘Bolete’, and it’s a wild mushroom. The word Porcini came from Italy, meaning ‘little piggy’.
During the Autumn season, it grows in plenty in the pine forests. You can easily recognize this medium shaped Porcini by the brown undercaps having tube-shaped spores. After cooking, the white flesh of this mushroom spreads an earthy aroma with a creamy taste. That’s why people use it in their pasta, rice, pizza, and stews.
This healthy mushroom is a great source of beta-glucans. You can’t store this mushroom for a long time because worms will start to occur.
Price: $108 per pound
You can call it Velvet foot, golden needle, or Lily mushroom. The wild dark brown Enoki is less consumed than the cultivated ones. The mushrooms derived from the firms are so tasty and aromatic that you will fall in love with every single bite after cooking.
It is available every season, and Japanese chefs never miss this mushroom in their soups. This tiny mushroom possesses a long stalk and little button caps, looking really so pretty.
The anti-inflammatory effects of this mushroom are quite good for your immunity.
Price: $225 per pound, dried
The word Chanterelle is derived from the Greek word ‘Kantharos’ which means ‘cup’. It looks like a funnel-shaped cup. Chanterelle is very common in North America and Europe. It is available in white, yellow, and orange colors. But the golden mushrooms are more demandable.
The distinct feature of this fungus is its apricot-like fruity flavor and peppery taste. As the mushroom gets older, it becomes softer and faints, and weighs up to 2-3 pounds. Italian people call this mushroom ‘finferli’, when German people call it ‘pfifferling’.
The fame, as well as the popularity of this mushroom, is so immense that it was common in royal platters. The health contents include beta carotene, vitamin D, B, potassium, copper, and selenium. The reason behind its high price is the difficulty to grow it on farms as the cultivator fails to give the required atmospheric conditions.
Price: $254 per pound, dried
When I think about this mushroom, a picture crosses in my mind. I am sitting in world-class restaurants and enjoying expensive dishes with Morels. Yes, it’s not only expensive but also classy to meet your luxury.
There are some nicknames for this mushroom, and each originated following a specific character of this mushroom. People say that it is a spongy mushroom as it looks like a sponge. Again it is called dryland fish mushroom due to its similarity with small fish.
The size is really diverse, and the shape is somewhat oblong to bulbous. The appearance looks like a honeycomb. The meaty, tasty texture and nutty flavor of this mushroom are really good enough to enjoy the delicious bites.
The high price tag is due to its rarity. The only way to find this mushroom is to collect from the wild by the mushroom hunters.
Price: $800-$900 per pound
Well, I am not talking about the chocolates which are crossing in your head. It’s a world-class mushroom! Again don’t mess it up with white truffles, as you are reading about expensive black truffles.
These irregular shaped potato-like mushrooms are perfectly grown in the countryside of Italy and France. France produces the most valuable black truffles. It has too much earthy taste that is distinct from other mushrooms.
This mushroom is really different from other mushrooms. It grows underground instead of above, thus acquiring the extra earthy taste.
Mostly mushrooms are overpriced due to their difficult growing conditions, and the same thing happened with this mushroom too.
Price: $1000-$2000 per pound
Japan is a country which produces some expensive mushrooms, and Matsutake is one of them. Even this is the mushroom that completes the dishes of Japanese dinner.
Autumn is the best time to taste Matsutake in Japan. This 10-20 cm mushroom is well known for its meaty texture and sweet flavor. It is treated as the leader of all mushrooms.
Since a very old time, the Japanese praised this mushroom with the highest value. The aroma is very strong to refresh your mind. But this is getting rare day by day. The cultivation of this mushroom is very hard compared to other mushrooms. Thus the prize became out of reach. Japan also exports this mushroom worldwide and earns huge dollars.
European White Truffles
Price: $1500-$4000 per pound
It is the second on our list in terms of price. European White Truffles grow in Northern Italy near Alba. October and November are the months to look for this mushroom. Actually, the demand of this mushroom is too high, where the supply is very poor, and this makes it thus costly.
This mushroom is really very hard to find. So, the mushroom hunters have to use truffle pigs or dogs to trace the exact location of this mushroom. Thus a group of people started to launch black markets for this mushroom.
People call it a sexy mushroom due to its aphrodisiac properties. So I think your valentine’s dishes must be cooked with this mushroom. It is actually the king of all mushrooms. So it’s fair enough to be a pricey mushroom.
Price: $2000 per ounce
So we are at the end of our list. That means, next we are going to talk about the most expensive mushroom in the world. Well, it’s Yartsa Gunbu! Or you can call it the ‘viagra’ of the Himalayas. But the shocking news is that the world’s most expensive mushroom is a deadly parasitic fungus! It’s a yellowish-grey 2-6 cm long caterpillar fungus growing in the altitudes measuring 3000 to 5000 m in the Himalayas.
It won’t be wrong if I say this mushroom is more costly than your gold jewelry. Again this is an aphrodisiac mushroom that makes this more valuable. It is a very much rare mushroom and was used by the emperors and kings to treat hard diseases in ancient times. Actually, it’s a gift of nature to mankind.
Sometimes it’s really astounding how a little, capless fungus with a tiny, slim stalked mushroom could cost such big bucks of dollars! The answer is that people believe it a mushroom that can cure every human disease. The plateaus of Yunnan, Sichuan, and Tibet are the places where Yartsa Gunbu is found in a wild state. In China, they love to use this mushroom in their soups or chicken dishes.
Mushrooms are actually the fruiting bodies of fungus. The health benefits and nutrients contents are beyond imagination. There is hardly any country where mushrooms are not consumed. It always makes your dishes more appetizing and tasty.
Why are Mushrooms so expensive (5 Facts Explained with some FAQs)
By all means, you can assume that almost all the species of mushrooms around the world are quite expensive, and the price is just outrageous. From the discussion of the article, you already know some of the most expensive mushrooms on the planet.
However, now we are going to tell you about the reasons for the expensiveness of mushrooms. So, here you are-
1. Difficult to cultivate: The first reason is the difficulty of cultivating mushrooms. Honestly speaking, it is quite arduous to farm mushrooms domestically or professionally. They must be cultivated under certain conditions.
There are more than ten thousand species of mushrooms in the world that have been identified so far. But all of them are not pleasant to eat. So, you have to choose the appropriate spawn and seeds of edible mushrooms. Moreover, if you want to cultivate these edible fungi, you will have to go through some other labored processes diligently to get a fair harvest of mushrooms.
At the very beginning of the cultivation, you have to make compost with the necessary ingredients. After completing a proper compost, it should be kept in a tray or container for some days. At that time, the soil must be given sufficient water, as well as proper heat to maintain soil temperature. When the compost is ready to plant the seeds, accomplish the task of planting. If you want fast growth and quick harvest, you can use mushroom growing kits that are available at the market.
Mushrooms don’t need extra sunlight, instead, a cool, humid, and dark area is suitable for them. In general, keep your soil heat between 55° and 60°F. Thus, by taking care of the plants regularly and executing every inevitable undertaking, you will see your mushrooms appear within four or five weeks. And finally, you can harvest edible mushrooms within months.
2. Rarity of mushrooms: Another crucial fact is the rarity of some specific mushrooms. As there are thousands of mushrooms, some are only edible and the taste is amazing. Among them, some specific species of mushrooms are quite rare and very difficult to find everywhere. They are found in certain regions of the world and their cultivation is also very little. For instance, White truffles are grown in specific regions of Europe, and Yartsa Gunbu is found in the Himalayas and Tibetian Plateau. As a result, the price of these mushrooms is highly expensive and extravagant.
3. Heavenly taste and unique aroma: If you have ever tasted white truffles, black truffles, morels, or Yartsa Gunbu, you might have felt how delicious mushrooms can be. Specifically, White Truffles founded in certain areas of Europe are considered as one of the most attractive and tasteful foods on the planet.
Broadly speaking, mushrooms spread an irresistible kind of aroma when they are mature enough. Their enthralling aroma and flavor will captivate you whenever you taste them. In a word, the taste of mushrooms is quite heavenly, ravishing, and mesmerizing, and their aroma is also sweet, pungent, and scrumptious.
4. Health benefits: It is significant to allude that mushrooms are healthy and beneficial to the human body. Researchers have shown many kinds of health benefits of mushrooms and they are still studying the issues.
Analyses show that mushrooms contain vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They are a great source of Zinc, Potassium, Selenium, Copper, Thiamin, fiber, Magnesium, Phosphorus, proteins, etc.
In particular, mushrooms alleviate chronic pain, lower cholesterol and appease blood pressure. They also relieve the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Their anti-inflammatory effect is very efficient in strengthening the immune system.
In addition, when mushrooms are added to certain other dishes, their nutty, fruity, woody, or spicy flavor make the dishes attractive and they enrich the nutrition of these foods. Thus, mushrooms are very healthy and nutritious and for this reason, they have worldwide demand. As a result, the price is increasing day by day.
5. Impossibility to store a long time: It is an impossible task to store mushrooms and keep them fresh for a long time. Being watery creatures, they become rotten within weeks and should be eaten as fresh as possible to get their real taste and flavor. Specifically, fresh mushrooms stay for 7 to 10 days by keeping them in the fridge while cooked mushrooms can last up to 10 days. Apart from these, if you want to store them, you can do it by maintaining some distinctive systems, and the time will be no more than a few months.
Thus, these are the prime reasons for which mushrooms are so expensive. In a nutshell, they are difficult to cultivate, hard to find, tasty, aromatic, and impossible to store for a long time. As long as the cultivation and supply of the mushrooms will be limited, their demand and price also will be expensive and beyond the touch of common people.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1: What mushrooms are worth the most money?
Almost all the expensive mushrooms are worth the money as their characteristics are completely adorable. They are naturally delicious and make other dishes impressive, nutritious and captivating. However, among the expensive mushrooms, European White Truffles are the most delicious and engrossing mushrooms that are worth the money completely.
These mushrooms are found in some specific regions of Europe including Italy and France. They are very arduous to cultivate extensively. And for this reason, their existence and production are very limited. Besides, due to their outstanding aspects and versatility, they are called the Grand Duke of truffles and the Diamond of the Kitchen. They are the authentic fruits on the earth recognized for their exceptional scent and heavenly taste. For all of these prospects, white truffles demand an expensive price tag. And their features are worth the money spent behind them.
Q2: What is the rarest edible mushroom?
Again the rarest edible mushrooms are also the White Truffles. As I have illustrated earlier, white truffles are found in only a few certain areas of the world. Specifically, Italy is known as the mainland of these mushrooms.
Henceforth, this is not an easy task to produce white truffles. They are cultivated at the root of some specific trees such as poplar, beech, oak, and hazel. To cultivate them, one has to go under several kinds of painstaking processes. And their harvest takes so many years that it can not be easy for everyone. That is why their production is very short and the season also stays only for a few months.
Besides, while most of the mushrooms are grown above-ground, white truffles are found underground. So, some hunting animals including dogs, bears, and pigs are used to find these mushrooms from the underground. Hence, this laborious process has to be carried out with great enthusiasm and diligence.
On account of these unusual conditions, white truffles are quite rare in the world. And even, they are the rarest of all edible mushrooms and will continue to be this as long as their production is restrained.
Q3: What is the most expensive edible mushroom?
White truffles were once recognized as the most expensive mushrooms on the planet. In general, they are sold at $4000 to $7000 per pound due to their scarcity, unique taste, and worldwide demand. Historically, a two-pound specimen of white truffles was sold for $85,000 in 2017.
However, Yartsa Gunbu is, nowadays, considered the most expensive mushroom in the world. These mushrooms are Asian gems found near the Himalayas as well as Tibetan Plateau. The price of them is just ridiculous and simply unbelievable. They are sold at $2000 per ounce. That means $32,000 for a single pound. It is also remarked that a pound of Yartsa Gunbu is sold for up to $50,000. Can you think about the price of these wonders?
Q4: Why is Yartsa Gunbu so valuable?
Yartsa Gunbu is the most expensive and valuable mushroom in the world. One of the prominent reasons for being so expensive is that the mushroom is believed as an aphrodisiac mushroom due to its excellent flavor and body appearance. Great kings and emperors were served these fungi to treat severe diseases in ancient times.
As Yartsa Gunbu is a parasitic fungus, its growth is very complicated. Henceforth, its cultivation is also quite limited. It is cultivated in the Himalayas, in altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 meters.
Overall, Yartsa Gunbu is a very precious mushroom for its significant quality. The rare production, complex cultivation, health benefits, historical value, and multiple efficiencies are the main reasons for which it is so valuable.
Q5: Why are morel mushrooms so expensive?
Morel Mushrooms are wild and they are not commercially farmed. So, one has to go through several processes to grow them whereas many other mushrooms haven’t to go through these kinds of procedures. Morel mushrooms are produced from sclerotia, a hardened mass of fungal mycelium. There is a symbiotic relationship between the morel mycelium and trees that enables these mushrooms to evolve properly. This arduous manner of cultivation is a prominent reason that consolidates the production of morel mushrooms widely.
As they are wild, it is also painstaking to forage them. It takes a lengthy time, generous patience to find them out from the ground. Moreover, morel mushrooms taste unearthly. They are uniquely nutty and savory. Plus, the bodies of morels are hollow and fleshy. So, they do not last for long days.
Therefore, these remarkable facts are the reasons for which morel mushrooms are so expensive.
Q6: Why are shiitake mushrooms so expensive?
Another staple of Asian cooking, Shiitake mushrooms are now widely popular and admired because of their unique characteristics. They are known as medicinal mushrooms for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Having a meaty and chewy texture, Shiitake mushrooms offer a delicious taste and incomparable flavor. They are durable if they can be refrigerated with appropriate covering.
Moreover, Shiitake mushrooms take a lengthy time to grow and mature. They are cultivated from hardwoods.
Hence, Shiitake mushrooms are expensive because of affluent benefits, savory taste, pungent flavor, and hardy process to farm.
Q7: Is growing your own mushrooms worth it?
Whether growing your own mushrooms is worth it or not depends on how you are going to cultivate them, how capable you are, and in which environment you farm them. Growing your own mushrooms needs a lengthy period, painstaking labor, diligent care, and a suitable environment. And what is more important is having sufficient knowledge about the ins and outs of growing them properly. After so many years of labor and effort, when you fail to harvest them, that is truly tragic. So, if you think you can afford all the requirements perfectly, only then growing mushrooms might be worth it.
A glimpse of Top 10 Most Expensive Mushrooms List With Price:
||$2000 per ounce
||European White Truffles
||$1500-$4000 per pound
|| $1000-$2000 per pound
||$800-$900 per pound
||$254 per pound, dried
|| $225 per pound, dried
||$108 per pound
||$55-$70 per pound, dried
|| $8-$36 per pound
||$12-$24 per pound
It is always hard to maintain the proper environmental conditions for mushrooms’ growth, and that is the reason behind their high price tags. Still, people always try to keep mushrooms in their daily diets, especially for the olds and children, to boost up the immune system of the body.
About Dawson Kutch
Dawson Kutch is a born and raised Alaskan who loves the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Kutch has been an avid hunter and fisher his entire life, and takes great pride in providing for himself and his family. While he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, Kutch also has a passion for fashion and loves to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. In his free time, Kutch enjoys spending time with his wife and one young daughter. He is always looking to learn more and better himself, both as a writer and as a person.