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The World's Most Expensive Bread
02 March 2021 @ 21:10

This bread is not a popular unleavened bread, but it is unique. The loaf weighs 400 grams and costs a mere 1,480 euros! It is the most expensive bread in the world. Many will wonder: What is it made of? Of gold? Well, they've hit the nail on the head. The precious metal, in its edible form and in three formats: powder, flakes and pieces, is one of the bread's main ingredients.

The hands that knead this 'delicacy', not suitable for all palates, are those of Juan Manuel Moreno. It has been 13 years since he, along with his wife, took over the family bakery, a business of several generations about to close. Located in Algatocín, a town in the Malaga mountains of just over 700 inhabitants, this small business has become the production centre for one of the most exclusive products on the planet.

"Making this bread costs me between 900 and 1,000 euros," explains the master craftsman who ensures that he uses the best ingredients. Selected flour, salt extracted by hand from the rock, gold, silver, roasted malt, more importantly, the local water. "It is hard water, of extraordinary quality," he points out. That, and a lot of time. Between 12 and 18 hours, are invested in the preparation. "It needs a long fermentation to be healthier, unlike industrial bread that seeks to produce the largest amount in the shortest time," he recalls.

Despite its high price, the sales of this bread have not been affected by the pandemic. "We released it in February 2020 and since then we have sold 96 units". Almost a hundred pieces that, at a rate of 1,480 euros each, add up to a whopping 142,000 euros.... for bread.

It is clear that consuming bread at almost 1,500 euros is within the reach of very few. His clients, says the baker, seek "glamour and exclusivity." Among them, Arab sheikhs and Russian and Chinese businessmen, in that order. 

"They buy it to compete with each other," says the creator of this bread, trying to explain its success, despite the high cost. Without revealing the identity of his clients, he acknowledges that his product has been to weddings of Arab princes or Russian banquets. "They even left us, on one occasion, a tip of 500 euros," he confesses. Also noteworthy is the case of a retiree, from Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga), who commissioned a piece for the simple whim of trying it. "He told me that he did not want to die without eating a piece of gold," says the businessman.

Beyond its exclusive products, the pandemic does not seem to have made a dent in the business, which has 170 varieties of bread (mostly quite affordable) and has doubled its sales, despite the closure of the hospitality industry. "People continue to consume bread at home," says Juan Manuel, who has a portfolio of 400 clients in Spain and which he maintains thanks to online sales, gourmet shops and herbalists. "The daily turnover at the beginning of 2020 was 1,800 euros and, at the end of the year, we reached 3,000," says the businessman who is confident that this upward evolution will continue.

The next project is to install a factory on some land that they have bought in Marbella, a strategic area due to its high purchasing power. In this way, they will increase the workforce, which currently numbers 10 people and will continue to expand their business. A success baked with work, effort and ingenuity. And a lot of love for bread.

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