There’s just something about gold. It’s shiny, pretty and pricey. But you’re mistaken if you think you can only wear it around your neck. The precious metal is making its way into gourmet treats around the world and believe it or not, 23-karat gold flakes (of the edible kind) have been sprinkled on nearly any dish to make it that much more delectable. From Asia to America, chefs have been experimenting with this luxury item for quite some time. Using gold leaves in cuisine is nothing new; Asian and Middle Eastern countries, way back when, believed gold had mystical and medicinal properties. Find it as far back as the 16th century, in Goldwasser liqueur, which was fancily flecked with gold.
Today’s use is mush less medicinal and much more superficial. The use of gold flakes in cuisine is extravagant. Some people simply prefer the metal to shine on their fingers, while others enjoy it best as an extra sundae topping. As for the taste, who knows? But one thing’s for sure, the gold certainly does make these dishes sparkle. Click through for the top 10 most lavish and gold-infused dishes to ever grace a plate, proving that you can have your gold and eat it, too.
10 23-Karat Gold Chocolate Bacon
Chocolate, bacon and gold; is there anything more to say? The people at Baconery have mixed these delicious and daring ingredients to form one super food, which can be bought for $39.99 (per strip) on the New York City boutique bakery’s website. The meat is Nueske cherrywood-smoked bacon covered in Guittard semi-sweet dark chocolate, with, of course, a healthy dusting of edible 23-karat gold flakes. Talk about taking breakfast to the next level.
9 Marni Gold Leaf Laduree Macarons
In 2009, fashion and food came together in a beautiful way. Famed Parisian Macaron pastry shop, Ladurée teamed up with fashion house, Marni on a selection of limited edition chocolate Macarons. As if that wasn’t already good enough, the duo decided it would be best to add some gold leaves into the mix, with each macaron decadently covered in the edible version of the precious metal. Not only were these two-bite treats absolutely delicious, they also looked as fashionable as ever. A box of 18 fluffy macarons cost roughly $100.
8 Gold-flecked Burger
The guys at 666 Burger food truck in New York City created the “Douche Burger,” taking the most expensive ingredients they could find, mixing it all together, and adding a little gold. The pricey hamburger was made of a Kobe beef patty (which was wrapped in gold leaf), foie gras, lobster, truffles, caviar, imported aged Gruyere cheese, a special BBQ sauce and Himalayan rock salt. While the food truck doesn’t seem to have much going on since the burger came out in 2012, it never hurts to ask if you’re in the market for a hamburger whose bun isn’t the only thing that’s golden.
7 The Thousand-Dollar Bagel
In 2007, a New York City chef working at The Westin New York hotel took the bagel, a NYC staple, and turned it on its head. Frank Tujague didn’t just create this decked-out bagel for high rollers though, he made it in part to help students obtain scholarships in culinary art, a charity known as Les Amis d'Escoffier. While it’s no longer available for purchase, the $1000 bagel was probably the priciest one New York has ever seen. It was available for purchase during breakfast hours, but needed a 24-hour notice to be made. Tujague started with a simple base: a classic yummy, soft NYC bagel. Then he added a little luxury to it. It’s decadently topped with Alba white truffle cream cheese and goji-berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves, of course. White truffles are said to be the second most expensive food in the world, and the Abla truffles used in this dish only grow seasonally, under certain Oak trees, in the Alba region of Italy, upping its price. But it was the gold that truly shined on this breakfast bagel.
6 DM 24K Golden Torpedo
While you can’t technically eat this item, it’s still meant to be enjoyed, savoured and tasted. This Daniel Marshall cigar is priced at $200 per cigar (or $1000 for a five-pack and humidifier), but with good reason. These ‘golden torpedoes’ are masterfully sanded by hand to create a smooth surface and then are delicately covered in 24-Karat Italian gold leaves; 25 sheets of it, to be exact. Of course the gold leaf is of the edible kind, so it's completely safe to smoke. Plus, since gold burns at a slower rate than other materials, those who smoke this golden cigar will be left with gold-flecked ashes.
5 Pricey Sushi
In the Philippines, chef Angelito Araneta Jr. got creative with sushi, and his work now holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive sushi ever made. Five pieces of his sushi will run you roughly $1, 800 and here’s why: you’re not just getting some fish wrapped in rice. Araneta’s creation is made up of aged Italian balsamic vinegar, Japanese rice, Muscovado sugar, Norwegian pink salmon, sea cucumber, mango, foie gras, crab, wild saffron and butter mayonnaise. Oh, and it just so happens to be garnished with local Palawan pearls and .20 carats of VVS clarity diamonds, all wrapped in gold leaf, of course.
4 Decadent Dessert
Just last year in London, as part of National Cupcake Week, a £768.85 cupcake was put on display. Not only was it infused with Hawaiian tea, it contained peach and champagne jam and a chocolate center. As for the butter cream frosting, it was mixed with Chateau Yquem wine and was covered in chocolate fondant made from Charbonnel et Walker chocolate. If that wasn’t yummy enough, it got topped off with more decadence, in the form of 24-karat gold leaf. It's no wonder is safely guarded by a bouncer.
3 The World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bar
Cadbury Wispa was first introduced to UK chocolate lovers in 1981 but got discontinued in 2003. It was so well loved that an Internet campaign, just four years after it left shelves, was started to bring the milk chocolate bar back. After 22,000 people joined the Facebook group “Bring back Cadbury’s Wispa Gold,” Cadbury obliged. But they did so in a truly extravagant way. For the re-launch, Cadbury made a gold leaf edition of its Wispa bar, priced at £961.48. It was even covered in a gold leaf wrapper and sent to Selfridges to be on display for a week in the retailer’s jewelry department, accompanied by a security team of course. In October 2008 the normal, chocolate-only version of the candy bar was back on shelves for all to enjoy.
2 TWG Yellow Gold Tea Buds
Tea warms the soul –and even more so when it’s got gold in it. TWG is a Singaporean tea producer with multiple retail spaces and tea rooms with over 1000 tea blends. Not only do they brew a mean cup, they also infuse the drink into yummy pastries and delicacies. Plus, all of their teas are hand picked and their tea bags are made out of 100 per cent cotton material, meaning they pay attention to detail. It’s no wonder they’ve created one of the most exclusive teas in the world: their Yellow Gold Tea Buds. But be prepared to empty your wallets in order to sip on some luxury; $3000 will get you about 100 grams of the good stuff, due to it’s short harvest period. Once leaves are picked (apparently with golden scissors) and harvested, each individual bud gets hand-painted with 24-karat gold, making the drink sparkle. But it’s meant to be more than just pretty. In some Chinese villages, gold’s restorative properties are still honored, making the tea extra-special. Once the tea has been brewed and enjoyed, it’s said to have a delicate metallic and floral aftertaste. Yum?
1 Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Haute Chocolate
This just might be the most delectable frozen hot chocolate to ever exist. It certainly is the most expensive; this sweet treat holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive dessert, ever. Order cup of this greatness at Serendipity 3’s New York City or Washington DC location and your tab will be a mere $25, 000. Not including tip. So what exactly is in this thing? Gold, and a lot of it. Let’s start from the bottom up. The frozen dessert is served in a fancy Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet, which is adorned by an 18-karat gold and white diamond bracelet on its stem, which is yours to keep. Before anything goes inside the goblet, it’s first lined with 23-karat edible gold leaf. Then comes the yummy stuff: Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate goes inside, which has a mix of 28 rare, secret and very expensive cocoas in it from Africa and South America. Plus, it also gets a healthy dose of shavings from the world’s most expensive truffle, La Madeline au Truffle, which goes for $2,500 a pound. Thought it was luxe enough? No, we haven’t hit 25 grand yet. Next, the dessert gets topped off and garnished with even more 23-karat gold. Oh, and did you spot the gold jewel encrusted spoon? Use the $14, 000 piece of cutlery to scarf down all that luxury. But don’t worry; you get to keep that, too.