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The World’s Most Expensive Ice Cream

How much are you willing to spend on a scoop of ice cream? When you go to an ice cream parlor, you might fork over what seems like a lot—it’s $6 to add three toppings to my cup?—but that’s nothing compared to what Scoopi cafe in Dubai is charging for their new dish, a single scoop of ice cream they’re calling the Black Diamond. To get your scoop of Black Diamond (which, oddly enough, is vanilla ice cream and not black at all), all you have to do is pay the equivalent of $817. Say what?

It’s true! This single scoop of vanilla ice cream, made special because it is a Madagascar vanilla, is topped with expensive Iranian saffron, topped with some chopped up bits of black truffle from Italy, and, most importantly, topped with small flakes of edible gold. Oh, and it’s also served in a Versace bowl and with a Versace spoon that you get to keep if you order the dish.

Who in the world would order this? The shop’s owner, Zubin Doshi, told ArabianBusiness.com he expects a growing demand for the Black Diamond: “Popular ice-cream products in the city are priced lower, but we expect Dubai’s increasingly aspirational consumers to readily pay a premium for a superior product.” Since the Black Diamond became available, two orders have been sold. So, Doshi might not be too far off the mark.

Now, I should note that there is some controversy over whether the Black Diamond is really the most expensive ice cream in the world. After all, Langham Hotel’s Parlour at the Pavilion offers a sundae they call the Victoria that sells for $1,000. The ice cream is Tahitian vanilla and Guittard chocolate topped with gold leaf, golden peanuts, and gold dust. It’s served in a Wedgewood Crystal Bowl (to keep) and with a bottle of Dom Perignon. Chocolate and caramel also top this sundae, but probably don’t contribute as much to the cost as the gold dust.

Serendipity 3 in New York also has a $1,000 sundae, called the Golden Opulence Sundae. This sundae has three scoops of Tahitian vanilla topped with edible gold leaf (I’m sensing a theme here). In addition, the Golden Opulence Sundae boasts chocolate syrup made from Amedei Porcelana, one of the most expensive chocolates in the world, cocoa beans harvested from the Caribbean, candied fruits imported from Paris, and truffles. It’s served in a gemstone goblet with a golden spoon.

The Guinness Book of World Records awarded Serendipity 3 with the most expensive dessert in 2007 for their Frrrozen Haute Chocolate, which cost an astonishing $25,000. That sundae came with a gold bracelet studded with diamonds and a golden spoon. The restaurant’s current menu no longer includes the haute chocolate, but you can still get the Golden Opulence Sundae, as long as you order 48 hours in advance.

Comparatively, $817 seems almost reasonable. But, there’s one difference between the Black Diamond and these other desserts that might earn it the title of most expensive. The Dubai dish offers just one scoop of ice cream. The sundaes in New York and Chicago offer at least three scoops. So, the Black Diamond might still win the title based on cost per ounce.

Whatever the case, you should definitely refuse to pay that much if your ice cream doesn’t feature edible gold. If you’re looking for more cost-conscious ice cream options, try making your own at home! Culture’s ice cream base recipe is the perfect blank canvas for you to add any ingredients you want, including pistachios and honey or rosemary and balsamic glaze. Gold flakes completely optional.

Feature Photo Credit: Scoopi Cafe

Gabrielle Roman

Gabrielle Roman is earning her Master's in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College in Boston. She is originally from Kansas City and misses the BBQ but the Thai food is good consolation. Her favorite hobby is cuddling with her puppy.