10 Unusual 'Rich People' Foods That Are a Waste of Money

Rich People Foods Cover

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Rich People Foods Cover
Cheapism / simonkr/ShyMan/defun/istockphoto

Off the Menu (Please)

Just because a colorful, meticulously labored over, yet also notably small "meal" is served at a hefty price point, in no way guarantees your tastebuds are in for an unforgettable treat. Beyond just the overpriced and underwhelming meals, certain stereotypical "rich people" foods would fit better into one of those eating challenge shows, where people put themselves through the psychological ringer to consume nauseating dishes for prizes. 

And what's with all the gold-laced or infused meals that the rich folk of this world will hungrily purchase? Who knows. We're here to take a look at some of the most unsettling "rich people" foods that are never going to be worth your money. After all, in this day and age when the cost of eating out is already a financially stressful event, you've got to save your money when you can. 

Related: 9 Ridiculous Double Standards Between Rich and Poor People


1. Edible Gold Leaf

Edible gold leaf is tasteless, indigestible, and has no smell. What a deal. You can usually find gold leaves being tossed into expensive dishes to help take those price points to stomach-turning, vertigo-inducing heights. So, what could the appeal be? Maybe if you accumulate wealth to such a point, participating in the gimmick is enough of an experience. 

brown chicken eggs

2. Balut

Brace yourself. Balut’s an Asian delicacy made up of a fertilized duck egg that’s been boiled and is then intended to be eaten in the shell. The actual concept of the dish is extremely dark, as the small duck fetus has already developed soft bones along with other features before one consumes it.

Related: Popular Foods People Think Are Gross


3. Bougie Pizza

Yes, some restaurants have specialized menus, featuring pizzas for thousands of dollars. Some of the ingredients that you can find included in these pizzas are squid ink, caviar, and (more) gold leaves. No kidding, the world’s most expensive pizza to date is a $70,000 “Golden Pizza.”

The pizza consists of over an ounce of gold. It also includes more humble characters like 10-year-old Parmesan bechamel, wagyu beef marinated in at least $10,000 worth of grape juice, and some foie Gras seared in $6,000 apple juice. Oh, lest we forget the additional $4,000 worth of white truffle and the $16,000 of caviar. 


4. Shark Fin

For starters, shark fin is flavorless. Then, you have the texture, which in its own right isn’t the most pleasant. Think slimy bites. The actual flavor present in a traditional shark fin soup is created by scallops and abalone. Lastly, many folks forget that sharks are apex predators and thus filled with heavy metals like mercury

So, if the flavor profile wasn’t enough alone to deter prospective shark fin aficionados, perhaps the literal threat to one’s health can do the trick. The demand for shark products has also contributed to a global decline in shark populations and threatens some endangered species. The U.S. recently banned the sale of shark fins, though there's debate over how that will impact the global industry.

Related: Foods That Are Banned in America


5. Bird's Nest Soup

Sometimes you need look no further than the meal name itself to know that whoever is eating the meal is riding life through a seriously dark route. Bird’s Nest soup is especially popular in China, and can run you up to $2,000 for one bowl. The primary ingredient in the soup is dried bird saliva, melded with pieces of a literal bird’s nest from the swiftlet, an endangered species that may be headed for extinction.

Teppanyaki style.
Gins Wang/istockphoto

6. Heavily Dry-Aged Beef

You can expect your standard cut of heavily dry-aged beef to possess an otherworldly level of cheesiness and overall funky aromatics when it comes to its taste. This could be a result of the sheer amount of time that the beef has been dry-aged. 

With that being said, unfortunately many butchers and restaurants are guilty of blatantly lying about how long they’ve dry-aged a cut of beef just to drive up the price point. Considering that potential scenario, you might not feel like it’s worth rolling the dice on the actual age of a cut of beef. 

Luwak Coffee beans

7. Civet Coffee (Or Kopi Luwak)

Not only is kopi luwak — also known as civet coffee — in an ethically dark place, but the coffee itself has been reviewed by some of the world’s snobbiest coffee consumers as outright gross. In case you were unaware, kopi luwak is a coffee that’s made up of coffee cherries, which have only been partially digested by the Asian palm civet

The digestive enzymes of the civet transforms the proteins of the coffee beans, which eventually pass through the animal, and are then collected to be sold. The process supposedly removes some of the acidity of the coffee for a smoother taste. Though many critics claim it also removes the good acidity and flavors. While civet coffee was once harvested in the wild, due to the popularity and rising price of civet coffee, the animals are now often confined to painfully small and unsanitary cages, according to National Geographic. Yeah, no thank you on all fronts. 

Juicy Lucy
John Yuccas/istockphoto

8. Foie Gras Stuffed Burger

Just in case you needed a quick refresher, foie gras is the liver of a duck or goose. Take your pick. A foie gras burger is a burger that’s been stuffed (or topped) with one of those livers, and in some cases topped with other decadent and overpriced items like a literal kopi luwak BBQ sauce

Whoever conceptualized this dish was either having particularly far out day, or just desperate to sell expensive food items they’d stocked their kitchen up with. 

Related: 22 Stupidly Expensive Foods You Won't Believe Ever Existed


9. Frog Legs

When you come across them, frog legs are a very pricey item on the menu, and they taste pretty much just like chicken legs. So, you might as well just bank on a much more reasonably priced, consistent, and occasionally exceptional plate of fried chicken wings.

Ant eggs spicy salad with herbs or Yum Khai Mod Daeng
Anucha Muphasa/istockphoto

10. Escamoles

Some people refer to escamoles as the equivalent of caviar in Mexico. This distinguished dish is actually the larvae and the pupae of large black ants. Folks that have experienced escamoles oftentimes say it tastes a lot like corn. If escamoles can cost upwards of $75 a serving, maybe sticking to a corn dish is the financially mindful move, no?