EDIBLE GOLD - THE NEW FESTIVE FAVOURITE

A few days ago, I got a message on WhatsApp about a sweet which was Rs. 10k  per kilogram. Since it was a promo of a sweet shop, he explained that the process of making this mithai (sweet) takes 7 days, and then it is wrapped in a gold verk (เคตเคฐ्เค• ). 

Gold Leaves
Edible gold is shining bright in this festive season. Though the use of gold in Ayurveda is an age-old practice and Chawanprash is a well-known example. The use of edible gold was only a way for ritchie rich only.  

Golden Cappuccino

Gold leaves are used in haute cuisine for extravagant meals. In the latest trends, it is seen to be used in foods and beverages such as in cookies decorationwines or liquors; in sushi garnishing; or over ice creamIt is said that edible gold between 22-24 carats is completely safe to consume. According to the latest scientific reports, eating gold has no effects since it is biologically inert, and it is suitable for use in food since it does not oxidize or corrode in moist air, unlike many other metals. 

Golden Strawberries - Straight from Queen's Table

I wonder, why it's used in Ayurveda and other olden systems of medicines as a beauty or health supplement in olden days when it is biologically inert.? ๐Ÿ˜‹

Short History of Edible Gold  

The first evidence of gold being used in food was found in Egypt in the second millennium BC.  The ancient Egyptian records show that gold was eaten as a sacred food to please the gods. They also believed gold had powerful restorative properties to heal the body and promote a youthful appearance. Looking good, beautiful, and healthy is an age-old pursuit of humans. :)

The Golden Beauty
Europeans used it as early as the 15th century for medicinal purposes. Gold was used as a food decoration in elaborate banquets as a sign of wealth in the 16th century. There have also been numerous contemporary dishes that have used edible gold in the main European courts of those times. Loved by the Lords of the time, it was used to decorate dishes for the most sumptuous banquets. There were many recorded wedding celebrations by the rich and influentials of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries of Europe.  Queen Elizabeth’s tables have the golden galore of oranges, pomegranates, dates, figs, and grapes, and many more. They were all covered with a magnificent golden glow.

Eastern civilizations also used edible gold as a garnish for its purported medicinal qualities. Marco Polo wrote in his travel accounts that Far Eastern civilizations have been eating gold for the same belief as that of Egyptians. They believed that feeding on precious metal attracted the favours of the gods.

Gold Flakes
Marco Polo introduced Japan as "Zipang, the country of gold" in his travel account named "The Travels of Marco Polo"  more than 700 years ago, and the Japanese have long utilized gold and silver in a wide variety of ways. It is likely that this custom originated within the rites of the tea ceremony, one of the oldest Japanese traditions. Looking at history, consuming gold with food or drink is not at all foreign to the Japanese. 
Marco Polo
Today, chefs worldwide use edible gold in a variety of cuisines from fine dining all the way through to fast food such as hamburgers or hot dogs. It is used to both dazzle and delight the customer, playing on one of the most important senses when it comes to enjoying food – sight.

PRECIOUS PANACEA

Healing powers to gold were known for centuries now. The Native Americans were convinced that by eating it they acquired the otherworldly power that allowed them to levitate bodies. Astonishing results were promised by the alchemists who were working on medicines based on gold because they considered it a panacea to cure many diseases.

Golden Biryani @ 16k - Any takers here?
The 16th century in Europe saw the beginning of the practice of eating candy covered with gold leaf at the end of a meal. It was considered a safe remedy against all types of heart disease. Also in the 16th century, in Milan, apothecaries began coating medicines with gold leaf to cover up their taste. 

After the 17th century, there is little evidence of using gold in food. It almost completely disappeared from culinary traditions. 

Gualtiero Marchesi is credited with having rekindled its glow. In 1981 the great chef invented his famous saffron risotto with gold leaf. With this dish, edible gold regained its role as the prince of food decoration. Starred chefs, award-winning bartenders, cake designers, and producers of chocolates and spirits consecrated its revival on a planetary level, making edible gold a true must in the cuisine of the new millennium.

Drinks with Edible Gold - Have you tried this?
This year, edible gold has come to the center stage in India in the latest festive range of sweets. You can have ice cream topped with edible gold or sushi garnished with edible oil. Cookies with a golden sprinkle, gulab jamun ( or any desi sweet) covered with a golden sheet only spell luxury. How about having a 24 carats cappuccino? 

Remember gold is metal so never heat it in the microwave. 

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