EXCERPT FROM Easy Tasty Italian by Laura Santtini
'Food bling' is my term for edible noble metals, namely gold and silver. Although the practice of eating gold and silver leaf was most recently fashionable in the 1980s, it can be traced back as far as 13BC.
'Food bling' is my term for edible noble metals, namely gold and silver. Although the practice of eating gold and silver leaf was most recently fashionable in the 1980s, it can be traced back as far as 13BC. Indeed, it was the alchemic scholars of ancient Egypt and Persia who first put their money where their mouths were as they experimented with the golden game of alchemy and the transformation of base metals into gold. The ingestion of gold was seen to give the light from the sun and higher powers, and considered a potential fast track to immortality. To this end a potion containing liquid gold was distilled and heralded as the elixir of life.
In truth, alchemy was just a shiny metaphor for a more profound personal transformation, and those seeking spiritual enlightenment at a time where it was not permitted, hid behind the cloak of science in order to pursue the light. The sun became gold, the moon became silver, and the men and women became whole through the pursuit of knowledge in the magnum opus of life's journey.
It is ironic that the last time that ingesting gold was during the greedy go-go 1980s, when the pursuit of enlightenment was an arduous task in a world busy pursing the promise of eternal wealth. Somewhat perversely, edible gold and silver became glaring mascots for a 'gilt'-free society, and delicacies such as gilded sushi became the elixir of life in the fast lane, swallowed without a hint of irony or reflection.
Today it is more than apparent that Shakespeare was right: 'All that glitters is not gold'. I use smattering of gold and silver beacons in my food in celebration that we are moving forward to a time when the pursuit of enlightenment will once again be considered noble. Enchanting and optimistic, these shiny flakes connect us to the earth, and all the knowledge stored within her core.
Edible gold and silver are sold in various forms: dust, flakes and leaf. Ensure that your product has been approved for human consumption before purchasing. Always use them sparingly, as they are not recommended for daily consumption, but just adding some magic on special occasions.
I do suggest using edible metals in certain recipes. This is a suggestion and not a recommendation. The use and consumption of edible metals is at your own risk. Neither myself or the publisher of my book accept any liability for illness, harm or injury arising from the use or consumption of such metals. Always read labels, warning and directions on the packaging of food packaging before use.