You may have heard the term “edible gold” used to describe high-end delicacies such as truffles and caviar. But did you know that actual gold really is edible? If you’re a foodie who likes to take to Instagram for its inspirational posts of picturesque cuisine, then you’ve more than likely noticed the rising trend of decorating food with this precious metal. From sushi to sweets, and everything in between, this gilded garnish has a way of elevating even the most ordinary of dishes. In some countries, like India, Pakistan, and Japan, it is more common for gold to be used as a decorative addition to dessert. But the use of edible gold is nothing new. In fact, people have been eating gold for centuries. Let’s get a glimpse beneath the glitter and see what all the fuss is about!
The Sacred History of Eating Gold
Whether for presumed health purposes, religious ritual, or simply as a grand display of wealth, many cultures around the world have a history of consuming precious metals. Ancient Egyptians revered gold for its divine properties, and believed that it could purify the body, mind, and spirit. It was also thought to possess rejuvenating powers–it is said that Cleopatra would wear face masks of pure gold for this very reason.
Is It Safe to Eat Gold?
Believe it or not, there are no known risks associated with eating gold, which has been deemed safe for consumption by the European Food Safety Administration (EFSA)--so long as it complies within their safety standards. But don’t bite into your bracelet just yet! Not all gold is meant to be eaten. Edible gold must be 23 to 24 karats to ensure its purity–anything that does not fall within this range may contain other toxic metals.
Are There Any Health Benefits to Eating Gold?
Although eating gold may not have any detrimental effects on your health, it also doesn’t have any nutritional benefits. Gold is a biologically inert metal, which means that it will not even be absorbed by your digestive tract.
Are There Any Medicinal Benefits to Eating Gold?
Gold has a history of being used for medicinal purposes in several cultures around the world. Eastern medicine incorporated gold into healing elixirs. Medieval Europeans also used gold to alleviate aches and ailments associated with arthritis. Today, however, there remains no substantial proof that this precious metal has any impact on such maladies.
Does Gold Have Any Beautifying Benefits?
Sadly–you guessed it–there is no scientific evidence that gold has any rejuvenating or anti-aging properties, either. But that doesn’t stop beauty brands or “skinfluencers” from boasting the benefits of gold masks and moisturizers. Be wary of skincare lines that claim to sell a golden elixir–this is simply a marketing ploy.
What Does Edible Gold Taste Like?
It may surprise you to learn that edible gold does not, in fact, taste like the mints that have fallen to the bottom of your purse. If it is pure 23 to 24 karat gold, then it will not have a metallic taste–or any taste, for that matter. In this way, it is the perfect addition to any food, as it will not affect its flavor profile whatsoever. It might, however, be a bit dry, which is why it is only intended as a minimal garnish.
Is Edible Gold Expensive?
Edible gold is surprisingly inexpensive for, well, gold. You can find a package of thirty gold sheets on Amazon for less than ten dollars. Keep in mind, though, that this gold is as thin as paper, and the sheets are often rather small. All things considered, it is still a relatively costly confection.
How to Cook with Edible Gold
Edible gold may be sold in the following forms:
Gold leafs are often sold in packages and consist of whole thin sheets of gold. These are great for covering the entire surface of an object, like the sides of a wedding cake, for example. Bigger items will require multiple or larger pieces.
Gold flakes can also be sprinkled atop sweets for a more modest effect. They are also dazzling when floating in certain clear beverages.
Gold Dust comes in a powdered form and can give a magical feel to any meal. Great for dipping candies and strawberries, this will leave a lovely gilded finish to your food. You can also mix it into your drink for a sparkly swirl.
Gold Shapes Similar to whole gold leaves, some edible gold comes in pre-cut shapes like hearts, stars, and flowers. Sometimes, even more intricate designs are created. This is an easy way to add a gorgeous artistic effect to your culinary presentation.
Gold drip can easily be made at home by using corn syrup, powdered sugar, and gold powder. Simply mix these three ingredients together to your desired consistency (more powdered sugar will yield a thicker mix). Drizzle atop your plate for a gorgeous flood effect.
How to Use Edible Gold - Handle with Care
Regardless of the form it comes in, edible gold is extremely delicate and must be driven by a gentle hand to keep it from breaking and wasting. Gold powder or small flakes will usually come in a shaker, which makes it much easier to apply. When it comes to gold leaves and larger pieces though, it is best to use a pair of tweezers for a more precise application.
How to Incorporate Edible Gold Into Your Menu
Even though edible gold has no taste or nutritional value, it remains a popular addition to haute cuisine, and is certainly a stunning feast for the eyes. Below are just a few ways that you can add some razzle dazzle to your next dinner party.
How to Use Edible Gold in Desserts
Edible gold is often used for desserts, especially for more formal events like weddings, golden birthdays, and anniversaries. Cover the entire surface of a cake with edible gold by gently pressing the large leaves over its sides (the outside of the cake should be slightly moist to help with the adhesion). Or, for a more subtle but still elegant effect, simply dash a bit of gold dust over that decadent chocolate brownie. There’s really no wrong way to decorate desserts and the pretty possibilities are endless.
How to Use Edible Gold in Drinks
Nothing says glamorous like a glass of champagne glittering with gold. Stirring in gold powder to any transparent drink will certainly make for an enchanting beverage. You can also rim your glass with gold flakes to make it extra fancy.
Edible Gold in Fast Food
Edible gold may make you feel like royalty, but it’s not just for gourmet dishes anymore. Many fast food chains have been quickly catching onto the trend, and plating burgers, chicken wings, and even pizza in gold! It may be more than you’re used to paying for that hot dog, though.
As it turns out, silver is also edible! This gorgeous glimmering metal can substitute gold in any of the above culinary creations. Like gold, silver is inert and can be safely ingested. But, like gold, silver must fall within certain standards to be approved for consumption. Beware that the silver must be pure, and steer clear of “silverleaf”, which contains aluminum and can make you very ill.
Where Can I Buy Edible Gold?
Edible gold can be found in its various forms at bakeries and grocery stores. Do not look for edible gold at the arts and crafts store though–the decorative gold that they carry should not be ingested!
You can also easily purchase edible gold online, such as through Amazon. Be sure that the gold you’re purchasing is pure 23 to 24 karat, and specifically intended for consumption.
Kolikof Caviar and Gourmet Foods carries both edible gold and edible silver for all your culinary decorating needs. Our gold and silver comes in the form of leaves, flakes, powders, and even shapes!
Buy Edible Gold Leaves
Indulge in decadence with our brand new 23 Karat Edible Gold Leaves. Perfect for wrapping different food products for that extra splash of luxury. Our pure gold certified leaves are some of the highest quality on the market and will not disappoint.
Buy Edible Gold Flakes
Some of the most popular items on the market at the moment, our Edible Gold Flakes are available for purchase. These 23 karat gold flakes are packaged in an easy to use bottle and can easily dress up any dessert.
Buy Edible Gold Spray
Need to decorate a cake or liven up a main dish? Kolikof's brand new Edible Gold Spray is here and ready to use in an instant.
And, as with all of our products, you can be positive that our edible silver and gold is high quality and comes at a reasonable price. Now you can amaze all your family and friends with treats that look just as exquisite as they taste!