A trend within the culinary world that has a more extravagant and decadent air to it is the use of edible gold sheets or gold flakes. This is often for the intent to decorate an assortment of food and drink dishes. Some examples of which include chocolates, cakes, cocktails or even steak.
However, you may be considering using edible gold sheets or gold flakes for the purposes of decorating food. If so, you will likely wonder what it will taste like, along with if people do actually eat gold.
With that in mind then, all you need to know will be found below.
What Does Edible Gold Taste Like?
When it comes to the consumption of edible gold, you will find that pure gold has no discernible taste to it at all. The reason for this is that, edible pure gold will be biologically inert.
As a result, it will mainly be used to provide decoration to the food in question without having an impact on the flavour that exists within the dish.
That said, though, whilst genuine edible gold is tasteless, its inclusion will impact the texture of the dish. The reason for this is that when applying any sort of edible leaf to your food, it will provide a distinct and delicate crunch.
What Does Imitation Edible Gold Leaf Taste Like?
Imitation metal gold leaf or flakes will be made from a mixture of zinc and copper. As such, imitation edible gold, also known as Schlag metal, will have a subtly metallic taste, unlike that of genuine gold leaf. This is because it will not be biologically inert, unlike genuine edible gold.
With this in mind then, you should only consume imitation edible gold leaf in moderation.
Like with genuine edible gold though, imitation edible golf will have a noticeable texture. This is the very same delicate and distinct crunch texture that can be distinctly noticed with genuine gold leaf.
Does Gold Taste Good?
Pure gold does not react or interact with most substances, including the human body. As a result, pure gold itself is tasteless and odorless. It does not have any inherent flavor.
Gold mixed with other metals though can taste, well, metallic. Depending on who you ask, this can be a good or bad taste.
Do People Actually Eat Gold?
You may have seen instances of people discussing the idea of eating some edible gold leaves or sheets. However, you may be dubious to believe that this is actually a real trend. After all, whilst fine dining is full of unusual traditions, this is a particularly extravagant example.
That said, the use of noble metals such as gold and indeed silver as food decoration or within alcoholic drinks may seem unusual. However, it is one that has been done on a regular basis.
From a historical context, the process of using a precious metal such as pure gold to decorate food is something that goes back thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians and Chinese are some of the oldest examples. Native Americans would often also do so as well. European nobles during the Medieval era did consume gold, too.
However, between the 700s and late 1900s, the process of using gold loose-leaf, transfer leaf or floating gold flecks in food and drinks fell out of fashion.
However, in the nineteen-eighties, eating gold decorated foods made something of a resurgence. Since then, the use of gold for dessert decoration, as a gimmick in fancy restaurants such as the salt bae gold steak or for limited edition publicity stunts at fast-food restaurants.
For further information on the history of gold consumption, check out our post on “is gold edible“.
Why Do People Eat Gold?
As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of examples of people using gold to decorate their food throughout history. As such, there is an assortment of different reasons for which you may use gold with your food.
Historically, people in regions such as Ancient Egypt, China, and the Native Americas would use it within a religious context. Many people also historically and to this day believe that when they ate gold that it would convey a multitude of health benefits.
Perhaps the most common use though for gold on food is for decoration or a status symbol. This is especially true with both the aforementioned medieval nobles, along with people in the modern times. These days, people most commonly use gold to decorate entire cakes or other types of desserts. Additionally, though, using it in these contexts is often done to bring some slight texture to a meal.
Is It Safe To Eat Gold Leaf?
When it comes to eating gold leaf, there is the concern about whether it will be safe to ingest.
Whether it is safe though, will ultimately depend on the gold in question.
The reason for this is that high purity gold is biologically inert, meaning it won’t cause chemical reactions to occur within your body. While it won’t provide you with any nutritional value it will be perfectly safe to ingest. Typically the safe range when discussing the purity of consuming genuine gold is from 22 karats and above.
As such, our edible gold, being a purity of 23.77 karat gold, will be perfectly safe to consume.
When it comes to imitation edible gold though, things are slightly different. The reason for this being that the imitation gold leaf will be made from a composition of copper and zinc. Also known as Schlag metal, imitation gold leaf should only be consumed in smaller quantities. The reason for this is that ingesting too much metal of this nature may be toxic for human consumption.
FAQ – What Does Gold Taste Like?
Gold is often used as a gourmet luxury within the culinary world. As such, there are numerous examples of it being used in extravagant ways. However. to those unfamiliar with it, the idea of eating gold may seem to be quite hazardous. You may be surprised to find though that incredibly pure gold of 22 karats and above will be completely safe to eat. This being due to it being biologically inert.
When eating real gold, there are a wide variety of different reasons as to why some would wish to do so. A particularly obvious one would be for decoration or for the status symbol that gold-gilded food represented for those who ate gold. Meanwhile, others may find that it provides a delicious crunch to the dish. Additionally, though, another possibility is that some people believe it provides health benefits.
Edible gold doesn’t actually have a distinct taste to it. As such, it doesn’t have the flavour of chocolate. That said though when used in food decoration, gold will often be used with chocolate. So the two are often associated with one another.
The taste of edible gold itself is virtually undetectable. Since gold is a chemically inert metal, it does not have a distinct flavor. Edible gold is primarily used as a decorative element rather than a flavor enhancer.