What Is The World's Most Expensive Pesto?

Shiso leaves for making the most expensive pesto in the world

Short answer
Wimbledon-based food retailer Vallebona sells an 80g jar of "Shiso Pesto" for £26, making it the most expensive pesto in the world.

Long answer
Let's start by looking at the UK's cheapest pesto. The dubious title goes to Lidl, with their 190g jar of "Baresa Green Pesto" costing just 55p. That works out at 0.29p per gram. The label describes it as "authentic Italian pesto," despite it containing sixteen ingredients, several of which really shouldn't be going anywhere near pesto.

Sunflower oil
Fully refined soya
Rapeseed oil
Grana Padano
Egg lysozyme
Pecorino Romano
Pine nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
Potato flakes
Acidity regulator
Lactic acid
Natural basil flavour

The most expensive pesto
At the other end of the scale is Vallebona's "Shiso Pesto," which is the world's most expensive pesto thanks to its eye-watering price tag of £26 for an 80g jar. That clocks in at 32.5p per gram, making it over 100 times more expensive than Lidl's offering. At £325 per kg, it is also six times more expensive than lobster.

Shiso leaf used in Japanese pesto

Vallebona's shiso pesto recipe
This unique pesto is produced in Japan and contains just four ingredients:

Olive oil

Shiso's taste is best described as complex, with hints of basil, mint, coriander, and tarragon. It is a much-loved ingredient in Asian cuisine and is particularly popular in Japan, where it is used as a palate-cleanser for sushi and sashimi. (If you've ever found a green, plastic, grassy-looking thing in your box of sushi, that's there to symbolise shiso.)

If your pocket doesn't stretch to the world's most expensive pesto, we've detailed how to create your own shiso pesto at home.