The other day, I blogged on the most expensive food in the world. Most of the foods had edible gold mixed in or on top. Have you ever wondered how you can eat a metal?
I wondered that! I also wondered why would anyone want to eat it as its really more valuable in your safe? Edible gold leaf is popular in India and Asia because they love it on sweets.
Technically, its actually referred to as edible gold leaf because it comes in either sheets or flakes. Gold itself is very soft so its easy to shape, flatten, etc. The gold destined for food is rolled and hammered till its 1/8000 mm thick. That is actually quite thin, thinner than a paper plate, perhaps similar to the thickness of plastic wrap. Be aware, gold has not taste and is only good for providing sparkle to foods.
Flakes are best for sprinkling on top of desserts to provide a glimmer rather than a solid look. The gold teases the eye and sparkles. In addition, it is sometimes floated in cocktails, or added to bottled liquor. The sheets come in two forms, loose leaf and transfer leaf. Loose leaf edible gold is torn into small pieces to place on candy etc while transfer is better for covering larger surfaces such as cakes.
Gold itself is considered inert because your body cannot process it, so it passes through the body without being absorbed. So it provides no nutrition at all. When shopping for edible gold leaf, you need to make sure it
is a pure as possible, in the 22 to 24 carat range. You want it as pure
as possible. Any gold leaf that is less than 22 carats is going to
have impurities which may not be good for you.
I found some listed on Amazon but it was only $40 for 23 carat gold leaf sheets (25) only 3 3/8 inches square for each sheet. That really isn't very much but together it might be enough for a bunch of cupcakes. Others went for more so gold leaf really isn't that cheap.