The World's Most Expensive Foods, 7-11

7. Boxed Chocolates

At $2,600 per pound, Chocopologie by Knipschildt Chocolatier of Connecticut is the world's most expensive box of chocolates. The Chocolatier, opened in 1999 by Danish chef Fritz Knipschildt, also sells a decadent dark chocolate truffle with a French black truffle inside for a mere $250. But don't expect to just drop in and buy one on a whim . . . they're available on a preorder basis only.

8. Sandwich

Since the 19th century, the club sandwich has been a restaurant staple. But thanks to English chef James Parkinson, the von Essen Platinum club sandwich at the Cliveden House Hotel near London is also the world's most expensive sandwich at $197. Weighing just over a pound, the sandwich is made of the finest ingredients, including Iberico ham cured for 30 months, quail eggs, white truffles, semi-dried Italian tomatoes, and 24-hour fermented sourdough bread.

9. Omelette

For $1,000, this gigantic concoction comes stacked with caviar and an entire lobster encased within its eggy folds. Still, one might expect a seafood fork made of platinum and a few precious stones within to justify the price of a few eggs (albeit with a few added trappings). Nicknamed "The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata," the world's most "egg-spensive" omelette is the objet d'art of chef Emilio Castillo of Norma's restaurant in New York's Le Parker Meridien Hotel. A smaller version is also available for $100.

10. Spice

Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, has sold in recent years for as much as $2,700 per pound! The price tag is so high because it must be harvested by hand and it takes more than 75,000 threads, or filaments, of the crocus flower to equal one pound of the spice! Most saffron comes from Iran, Turkey, India, Morocco, Spain, and Greece, and in the ancient world the spice was used medicinally and for food and dye. Prices vary depending on the quality and the amount, but high-quality saffron has been known to go for as much as $15 per gram (0.035 ounces).

11. Cake

And the award for the most expensive food goes to...a fruitcake? Encrusted with 223 small diamonds, this cake (which is edible without the gems, of course) was for sale for an unbelievable $1.6 million in December 2005. One of 17 diamond-themed displays in a Japanese exhibit called "Diamonds: Nature's Miracle," the masterpiece took a Tokyo pastry chef six months to design and one month to create.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen