Truffle sniffing pigs are old news. You’ll never guess where animals are popping up now. I’ll list a few below that I ran across in Food Network Magazine. One thing is for sure, it would make for interesting dinner conversation and you’ll damn sure ask where your expensive coffee came from.
The makers of Monkey-Picked Tea say that trained Chinese monkeys pick this rare type of oolong, which grows too far out on mountain cliffs for people to reach. The tea tastes more delicate and floral than typical oolong. $20 for 2 ounces at thinkgeek.com
In parts of Morocco, tree-climbing goats help harvest prized argan nuts by knocking the nuts from their branches. Once the nuts are on the ground , locals remove the kernels and roast and press them to make argan oil. Chef’s covet the oil’s nutty flavor and drizzle the stuff over salads, appetizers and even desserts. $53 for a 250ml bottle at kalustyans.com.
In Indonesia, catlike animals called civets harvest the beans used for Kopi Luwak coffee. At more than $100 per pound, it’s some of the most expensive joe in the world. We’ll spare you the details on how the beans are cultivated (it has to do with digestion), but fans of the coffee claim the unique process gives it incomparable smoothness. Gives whole new meaning to good to the last drop. $50 for 200 grams at amazon.com