Unless you’re basking in a boatload of money, chances are a gourmet meal for you includes ramen noodles and a loaf of bread (hey, college isn’t free, people). If you’ve had a really good month, maybe you’ll splurge and get that extra large pizza you’ve had your eye on for some time.

But did you know there once was a time that gourmet foods could be found for the same price as a pizza?

And if it’s true that history repeats itself, maybe our kids will consider ramen noodles a gourmet food. Check out these fancy foods that have gone from rags to riches, like a culinary J.K. Rowling story.



Photo courtesy of newyork.com

Once upon a time, lobster wasn’t a gourmet food.

That’s right. The food that often defines a rich and fabulous lifestyle was seen as a sign of poverty up until the 19th century. Once the railroad was built, lobsters began to move inland from New England; though it’s not known how it ended up as such a high priced food.



Photo Courtesy of foodrepublic.com

Until the French began to cook them to perfection, snails were considered to be about as average as a hamburger. Every country in Europe ate them as a norm. Now snails (and escargot) are seen as one of the most elegant foods out there.



Photo by Marissa Sherman

Can’t imagine a world without sushi? Neither can I. But, it wasn’t that long ago that sushi was nonexistent in the U.S. In Japan, sushi was just used to preserve fish. After World War II, sushi was brought back as a delicacy, and now we’ve got a sushi bar on every street and sushi burritos. I’d say we’ve come a long way.



Photo by Grace Bodkin

Quinoa is one of the trendiest foods in the last couple of years. Even though it seems to be in every recipe, the price is definitely up there. But back before it became popular, quinoa was just a cheap grain that Peruvian locals loved.



Photo courtesy of foodenthusiastmag.com

Known as one of the most gourmet foods available, caviar was first introduced to the world when the French began importing it from Russia. Over time, it has is a staple food of the rich. But in the 19th century, caviar was free to restaurant go-ers because there was so much. The only people getting free caviar now are the celebs.



Photo courtesy of thenextweb.com

Whether you love them or hate them, oysters continue to be considered a high class food. How anything with a shooter can be considered high class, I’ll never know… But before oyster farms were invented, oysters were considered poor man’s food because of how common they were throughout France. Now they are still just as common at the shore, but it’ll cost ya.



Photo by Gabby Phi

Once given away by butchers in Texas, brisket is now considered an exceptional piece of meat. Over time, prices have increased, taking it from a once poor man’s food to a delicacy in some parts of the world.