There's fancy, and then there's this.

Sticker shock is a very real phenomenon in dining. At some point in time, we've all sat down in a restaurant and asked ourselves, "Why do people pay that much money for that kind of food?" As we're about to see, however, there are cuts of meat out there that can make even your most expensive steakhouse luxury look cheap by comparison. Let's take a look at the five most expensive cuts of meat in the world.

Honorable Mention: Fugu


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Fugu—or pufferfish—isn't actually in the top 5 most expensive cuts of meat. Despite costing approximately $130 per pound, it doesn't come close to the actual cost per meal of the other items on this list. That said, pufferfish is quite possibly the meat that's most commonly associated with wealth and high-class adventure dining. One of the main draws to eating pufferfish lies in its danger: the fish contains high quantities of neurotoxins and can be fatal if not prepared correctly. The government of Japan estimates that around 40 people die per year from eating improperly cooked pufferfish, making this the most lethal food on this list by a long shot. 

5) Coffin Bay King Oysters


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These luxury oysters will run you a cool $100 each. That means that if you plan to eat more than one, you better be prepared for a hefty dining bill. One of the big factors surrounding their price is availability. True to their name, Coffin Bay oysters come from the Coffin Bay in Southern Australia. While most oysters are harvested after an 18-month growth cycle, these are left to grow for a full 7 years before being harvested. Their extended growth cycle translates into a texture that's described as being 10 times meatier than regular oysters. 

4) Bird's Nest


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If you've ever dreamed about eating a slimy crust made of bird saliva, know that your dream is just a paltry $1,000-$3,000 away! While this is the most technical entry on the list, many culinary experts still consider bird nests to be meat because of its texture, flavor profile, and nutritional qualities. Edible birds nests typically come from the Indian swiftlet and are made out of their solidified saliva. This food is served in a variety of different dishes, but one of the most popular is Chinese bird nest soup, a gelatinous dish that pairs a partially dissolved bird nest with noodles. Yum!

3) Ayam Cemani


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At $2,500 each, these chickens can cost more than a used car. These chickens are an extremely rare breed of completely black chickens that are found in Indonesia. The pigments that turn their feathers and beaks black also applies to everything else: their meat is naturally black as well. This is one type of meat where the price tag is apparently worth it, as foodies have been quick to celebrate the complex, incredibly rich flavors that these birds boast over their counterparts. Then again, this also means that more people are trying to eat them, so regular chickens might be having the last laugh here.

2) Almas Caviar


Courtesy of Needpix

Almas Caviar is the Guinness World Book of Records winner for "most expensive caviar", which is an accolade that frankly feels like overkill. This particular type is 100-year-old sturgeon eggs that apparently has a richness unseen in other caviar. It also makes most other types of caviar look cheap with a price tag around $25,000 per pound. Fun fact: you should never eat this food with a metal spoon or you risk altering its taste. We can only assume that's an Almas Caviar amateur move. 

1) Brown-Lipped Abalone


Courtesy of WikiMedia

$173,000 per plate. That's how much it costs to try this Asian delicacy. These strange mollusks are so rare and expensive that most professional foodies and restauranteurs haven't even had them. For the cost of sucking back on something closely related to snails, you can buy two to four new high-end cars. A single plate costs more than the average doctoral degree. In the offset chance that you win the lottery and run out of gross things to eat, these are always an option. 

Do you want to try any of these foods? Let us know in the comments!