When you think about pizza ingredients, what usually comes to mind? Tomatoes and mozzarella, maybe some Italian sausage? But how about champagne-soaked caviar, lobster, or truffles? Or even a garnish of gold leaf? Most of us probably think of pizza as cheap food, which is not surprising.
It was originally regarded as peasant food, a cheap way of feeding the poor who flocked to Naples during the 18th century. But if you look at some of the most expensive pizzas ever created you will see how far it has come from its humble origins.
The Bellissima – $1000
Starting with the cheapest, Nino’s of New York City, an establishment which has been around for 35 years, was once the home of the Bellissima — a pizza designed with caviar connoisseurs in mind. Instead of the classic tomato sauce, the toppings for this 12″ pie began with a layer of crème fraîche, followed up with a generous helping of six types of caviar, including Beluga and Black Russian Royal Sevruga.
In addition to these, you would have found wafer-thin slices of lobster tail, all topped off with a little fresh wasabi. Considering that each pizza contained around $820 worth of caviar this one could almost be considered good value for money.
Margo’s pizzeria $2400
Margo’s Pizzeria on the island of Malta was previously the record holder for the most expensive commercially available pizza. Although Malta is off the coast of Italy, the island does not have a strong pizza tradition.
Owner Claude Camilleri decided to use the pizza as a way of showing off the flavors of locally available truffles. White truffle and flakes of gold leaf top a thin pizza base. The traditional tomato sauce is not used as it is too acid and would overwhelm the delicate flavor of the truffles.
The 24k pizza – $2000 – $2700
Take a close look at the menu of Industry Kitchen in NYC and you might spot an item listed at the bottom of their pizza menu – The 24K Pizza which, as the name suggests, is made using gold leaf. Toppings also include a host of other luxury ingredients including caviar, foie gras, and truffles. There is also the addition of squid ink in the dough to give this pizza its distinctive look, taste and price tag.
And if you are feeling a little extravagant you can add a dollop of extra caviar for just $700, making it the most expensive commercially available pizza.
Pizza Royal 007 – $4200
Although this one comes from Glasgow, Scotland it was created by Domenico Crolla, a member of one of the many Italian families who came to Scotland and opened restaurants and ice cream parlors in the early 20th century. While the Pizza Royal has a true Italian culinary heritage some of the ingredients used to top the pizza might be considered a little less than authentic. These include caviar soaked in Dom Perignon champagne, venison, and Scottish smoked salmon — and finished off with 24-carat edible gold flakes.
However, if you were planning to phone up and order one you will be disappointed as the luxury pizza was a one-off concoction. It was created by Mr. Crolla to be auctioned to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation which works to prevent blindness in Africa. Mr. Crolla’s charitable gesture was an alternative valentine’s day gift for his wife. Italian food and romance seem to go together, which brings us to the second most expensive pizza in the world…
Favitta’s Pizza for Lovers
Favitta’s is now closed but it came a close second with its distinctive heart-shaped pizza for lovers. Given the price tag, the pizza comes with a surprisingly standard topping that you might expect to find on your average Saturday night pizza.
But the exclusive Lover’s Pizza was embellished with a few extras: The pizza would be served complete with a bottle of champagne and a diamond ring. Perhaps not one to order on impulse after a night out on the town.
Louis XIII pizza – $12,000
This one tops the list not just as the most expensive pizza, but also the most expensive dish in the world. Appropriately, it comes from Italy and was created by Italian master-chef Renato Viola.
What’s more, you can have this one delivered anywhere in Italy. Viola will send a team including chef, pizza maker and sommelier to your home where they will create this luxurious pizza topped with lobster caviar and eight different types of cheese. Definitely the ultimate pizza delivery.