In Ancient Egypt, legend had it that gold held the secret to immortality. Hypnotized by its glimmer the pharaohs plastered their final resting places with the precious metal. Counseled by their lust for life, Egyptians gobbled up gold powder, believing that by eating gold one might internalize its awe-inspiring properties.
Today, gold leaves sit atop spectacular desserts and twinkle as they flutter to the bottom of champagne flutes. Fortune Small Business, a magazine in the CNN-Time Warner family, named gold leaf as the most valuable food per pound on the planet. Priced at $15,000 per pound, the edible metal beat out white truffles, caviar, and saffron far and away. These next three on the list were priced at $6,000, $1,550 and $1,500 per pound respectively.
For centuries, sprinkles of gold leaf livened up liqueurs in continental Europe. Today, some liqueurs like Goldschläger glitter with gold leaf as a novelty. Signature martinis often include the eye-catching sprinkles. Opera cake, a famous layered sponge cake is blanketed in chocolate ganache and typically topped with crumbled pieces of gold.
Gold is a non-toxic metal that is safe to eat like calcium and iron, so it should not be so alarming to see a metal that is often seen as a commodity if not a currency capping a list of pricey foods. Most famous for its use in gilding, an art in wide practice for centuries, gold leaf is simply the soft metal hammered into a very thin sheet or “to aery thinness beat” as English poet John Donne once rhymed.
Via Born Rich