Taking a shine to your meals lately? Perhaps it’s the other way around: the extravagant gourmand whose gastronomic delights display an aura of Aurum may know something more plebeian diners don’t… putting carats on one’s carrots is as good as gold.
From ancient times, the world’s rich and powerful have sought to extend and expand their wealth and power by eating foods far too rare, too beautiful or too mystical for the common man (and woman) to afford. Gold fits the bill… but to eat or drink it, one must have the means to PAY the bill.
Why gold, you might ask, when gourmet delicacies like truffles, sweetbreads and, er, lark’s tongues in aspic are just as rare and probably a whole lot more flavorful. It’s all for show, of course – gold is useful for jewelry and not much else, so why not “gild the lily” when making friends and influencing people? This was exactly what the ancient Egyptians had in mind when they introduced the world to the art of edible gold. These days, the cult of celebrity has supplanted the worship of more heavenly bodies and edible gold is all the rage among the privileged classes. Here are 10 ways one can imbibe edible gold, some so affordable even a modern-day plebeian can enjoy them!
Shake Yer Beauty
First off, my apologies for that truly awful title – now let’s move on to some real beauty you can shake onto just about anything. We’re talkin’ gold… silver and gold, actually, individually packaged in powdered form at a surprisingly reasonable price. The gold goes for around $100 per gram which may seem like a lot but look on the bright side: a little gold (or silver) powder will go a long way.
Powder too fine for your chowder? Fancy a sprinkle on your, er, can’t think of a rhyme for “sprinkle.” Regardless, when only gold can fit the mold, do your thing with some Food Bling. British food celeb Laura Santtini has hooked up with Selfridges department store to market a range of gold and silver sprinkles under the trendy moniker. Sez Santtini, it’s “an inexpensive and easy way of making a meal more glamorous.”
Graffiti You Can Eat-y
(images via: ArtNectar)
Polishing an apple to give to a favorite teacher? Make an indelible impression with Esslack edible gold food spray from German food cooperative The Deli Garage. As seen in the image above, you can spray-paint your tomatoes a glittering golden hue. It matters not that tomatoes look perfectly appetizing “as is”; Esslack is all about making an impression.
I Can’t Be-Leaf It’s Gold!
One of gold’s most fascinating properties is its extreme malleability. A tiny nugget of gold can be hammered out into a surprisingly wide sheet that may be only a few dozen atoms thick: Gold Leaf. Food grade labeled gold leaf allows chefs and cooks to add the appearance of great value to their culinary creations while in actuality using very tiny amounts of gold.
Those who have enjoyed Goldschläger cinnamon schnapps may feel richer than they really are: a 750ml bottle only contains about a tenth of a gram (0.1 g) of gold flakes worth around us$5 on the metals market. Even so, it’s not the quantity of gold that counts here, it’s the quality of the company, the occasion and the atmosphere. Goldschläger is one of several liqueurs infused with tiny amounts of gold leaf with the original being Danziger Goldwasser, first brewed and sold back in 1598.
Buy The Bar
The power of social media has brought back Cadbury’s much-loved Wispa Gold chocolate bar, though at a cost. Like, £961.48 (about $1,630). Fret not, British chocoholics, the heavy sticker price is for one very special Wispa Gold bar, covered in gold leaf and packaged in a custom gold leaf wrapper. Over 22,000 Wispa Gold fans joined the Facebook group “Bring back Cadbury’s Wispa Gold”, leading to the presentation of the one & only gold Wispa Gold bar. The choice confection was presented by Tony Hadley of the 1980’s New Romantic band Spandau Ballet, whose 2nd best-charting single was… “Gold”.
California Gold Rush Rolls
(image via: Foodiggity)
When it comes to gourmet sushi, Filipino chef Angelito Araneta Jr. has got the Midas touch. He’ll need it – it’s tough to top some types of sushi when it comes to both price and presentation. Araneta judiciously applies 23K gold leaf to his custom creations and at times even THAT isn’t enough: the gold-wrapped rolls above are garnished with 12 local Palawan pearls and 4 (.20ct) African diamonds of VVS clarity. We’re gonna need more Alka Seltzer, stat!
Frrrozen Haute Chocolate Sundae
When the Guinness World Record people recognize you for preparing the world’s most expensive dessert, you can be pretty sure there’s gold involved. When the dish costs $25,000 it’s pretty much a given. The delectable “Frrozen Haute Chocolate” is a dreamy dessert devised by Stephen Bruce, owner of the New York restaurant Serendipity 3. Bruce blended 28 exotic cocoas with 5 grams (0.2 ounces) of edible 23-karat gold and as a bonus, slipped an 18-karat gold bracelet with 1 carat of white diamonds into the bottom of the sundae. Don’t eat the bracelet, just lick it clean and slip it on.
Cupcakes offer chefs a small but rich palette upon which to work their wonders, and gold dragees seem to be one of the more popular weapons in their arsenal. “Weapons” indeed… anyone chomping down on a dragee unawares might think their snack was full of buckshot. These gold-glazed sugar spheres may commonly appear as decorations for desserts but be advised that the FDA lists them as being inedible. Visit the UK and Europe, on the other hand, and you’re free to crunch these tiny golden jawbreakers to your heart’s content.
Shiny Luxury Novelty
(image via: DeLafée International)
Looking for the special gift for the princess who has everything? DeLafée International suggests this gold lollipop gift, described as “a decadent indulgence and a suggestive accessory.” The 45 gram (1.6 oz) strawberry flavored and heart-shaped lollypop might be considered childish if not for the flecks of edible gold clinging to its sweet surface. A little too sexist for you? No worries, DeLafée also sells hand-rolled Dominican luxury cigars wrapped in gold leaf. Smokin hot!