If you ever read descriptions of the most expensive cakes, sushi, or any other type of food, they usually include edible gold but what exactly is that? How can it be edible. When someone says gold, we think of gold bars thieves are always stealing from banks or Fort Knox.
Beginning back in Egyptian times, Pharaohs used gold to win the favor of the gods. They used gold leaf to decorate tombs and sarcophagus.
If you jump over to Alexandria, you'll find chemists or alchemists who created an elixir out of liquid gold. This elixir is said to rejuvenate people, restore youth, and rid the body of disease. Furthermore, it is said Cleopatra slept in a mask made of gold because she believed it made her more attractive to men.
In addition, the ancient Japanese used gold leaf as decoration on food and drink as well as using it as as a medicine. By the 16th century, gold leaf had made its way to Europe and the noblemen there decorated their food with it. Gold leaf would be found on bread, oysters, quail and carp, especially at banquets, and weddings.
Even in Europe, people believed in the medicinal qualities of gold leaf. It could be found wrapped around pills, or in tonics. It's consumption became so common, laws began restricting its use to no more than two dishes per meal because they were afraid the gold supply might run out. Furthermore, it was observed that gold when placed near joints seemed to alleviate arthritis.
Currently, it is possible to buy gold leaf, gold powder, or gold ribbon. It is approved for consumption but it is still a precious metal. By definition, edible gold leaf is "biologically inert" meaning it passes through your system without being absorbed. When you purchase gold leaf, it is important to get it with as much pure gold as possible. It is best between 22 and 24 carat gold because that is the safest. Anything with less gold could possible harm you.
It is possible to purchase gold leaf in sheets or as flakes. When buying gold leaf in sheets, there are two types. The first is loose leaf which is used by tearing small pieces to decorate candy or truffles. The second is the transfer leaf is better for covering large items such as cakes. The gold used in sheets has been rolled until it is 1/8000 of a millimeter thick. A ball park figure to buy gold sheets is in the 15 to 25 cents per square inch.
So now you know edible gold has been used for thousands of years because its associated with luxury. You also know how its made and what to look for if you want to buy it. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.
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