For ages, gold has been used as currency. Countries have waged wars to obtain gold, because more gold meant bigger armies, which were used to establish power. Besides being used as currency, gold was and is used to embellish one's appearance by wearing gold jewelry. More gold meant bigger status in society. In the present age, gold still remains a staple for luxury and wealth, but its use has somewhat changed. Luxurious restaurants around the world now offer it as an ingredient in food and beverages.
Burj Al Arab in one of Dubai's most luxurious hotels. When looking at pictures of this hotel, one thing strikes the eye: gold. 1790 square meters are covered with 25-karat gold leaf. The presence of gold is so prevalent that some of it has seeped into the bar. Some cocktails and coffees are made with actual gold. In addition, the bar has a spectacular view. It is located on the 27th floor, 200 meters above sea level. Hence the name, Gold on 27.
Why is this extravagant use of gold so attractive when it doesn't even add to the taste? Why is it a treat for so many people? The executive assistant manager of food and beverage at the Burj Al Arab, Etienne Haro, says that gold is a synonym for decadence. It has a level of decadence. Therefore, people consume it not for the taste, but for the feeling of decadence that it induces in the mind of the consumer.
Annually the hotel uses up to 700grams of gold as part of their food and drinks, brought from Italy and India. Gold can be consumed in the form of gold leaf, flakes or dust. It is pretty safe to consume, although it is pretty much tasteless. On the other hand, Diamond is not digestible because it is the hardest material in the world. Therefore it makes for better use elsewhere. Gold is much more appropriate to use as an ingredient.
Gold is part of numerous items on the menu, including white chocolate mixed with gold, a specially crafted pepper mill to grind "gold snow" on top of food or cocktails, gold sugar cubes for tea-inspired mocktails, and a pure gold decorative spray. The most famous cocktail on the menu is Element 79 (the gold's atomic number). It is gold all over, non-alcoholic sparkling wine with flakes of gold, gold food coloring mixed with pure gold and a golden piece of sugar - a concoction for the most fervent gold lovers
Dubai is not the only place where gold is served on the platter. The most expensive pizza in the world can be found in Industry Kitchen in New York. To enjoy this over-the-top delicacy, one must order it 48 hours in advance and pay 2700$ dollars. As for the ingredients: squid ink dough, foie gras, Stilton cheese from England, two types of caviar, winter black truffle from France and 24K gold from Ecuador.
In 2012 a New York food truck presented its 666$ "Douche Burger", made from lobster, foie gras, truffles, caviar, champagne stream and all wrapped in gold leaf. Food critic, Samantha Wood, said that the first time she spotted edible gold in Dubai was 6 years ago. It is typical of Dubai to do something like that. Edible gold might look spectacular on Instagram photos, but is it really worth it? Only time will tell whether gold will remain popular in the culinary world or will it be a passing fad.