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Gold Leaf


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Are edible gold leaf really made out of gold? I have been asked this question many times, and everytime I can't explain it properly. I remember being told once that it's made out of real gold, and that gold is digestable. Does anyone out there know how it's made?

Thanks.

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Are edible gold leaf really made out of gold? I have been asked this question many times, and everytime I can't explain it properly. I remember being told once that it's made out of real gold, and that gold is digestable. Does anyone out there know how it's made?

Thanks.

if it's real gold, it wouldn't be digestible; it would just pass through you. i don't believe gold is soluble in any of the chemicals in your gut (it's not soluble in much).

Notes from the underbelly

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Real gold is an ingredient in Goldschlager an Italian liqueur, and many cultures use real gold as an edible decorative ingredient. I don't think I would want to consume it in great quantities but in small quantities it seems to be safe.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I don't know about the truth to this (although I've retold these "facts" countless times). I've heard that the country with the highest consumption of gold is India. And I've heard that the place to find the most gold (outside of a mine or jewelry shop) is in the sewers of India.

There...wasn't that helpful :blink:

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yep, it's real gold, bashed super-thin. It is the same stuff used to fill/ bling teeth, so you know it is safe to put in your mouth. As said before, it passes through the digestive system unchanged. Whether it bunches up like gold ingots (ready to panned out from the sewers?) I don't know!

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Panning only works with concentrated gold and this stuff is so light that it floats on water.

Gold leaf has been recovered from disintegrating frescos, from statues, from glass, from oil and tempera paintings by simply crushing the material on which it was used and subjecting it to heat in a crucible. The materials that are destroyed by heat lower than the melting point of gold (a bit less than 2000 degrees F) simply vaporize, the other materials have higher melting points (glass a minimum of 2500 degrees but most glass closer to 3000 degrees. The molten gold will "float" on top of the still solid material and can be poured off into a mold.

There was a thriving business in Europe after WWII recovering gold from bombed-out buildings that had interiors with significant amounts of gold leaf.

I still have part of a "book" of 24K gold leaf that I used to use on some of my paintings. I did a series of paintings that included Egyptian designs.

I have also used it on the fondant covering on petit fours, on chocolates and some fancy Christmas cookies, but a little bit goes a long way.

The gold used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is "colloidal" gold which is a suspension of microscopically fine particles suspended in a liquid that is injected. Consuming gold leaf has no effect on the body.

Nugget gold has been swallowed, smuggled and retrieved with no harm to either the gold or the carrier. At one time suspected smugglers were weighed, now they are x-rayed.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I believe in giving good value........ I think it runs in the family. Never ask one of us about the time of day, unless you want to know how to build a clock......

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Gold leaf has been recovered from disintegrating frescos, from statues, from glass, from oil and tempera paintings by simply crushing the material on which it was used and subjecting it to heat in a crucible. 

To elaborate: Gold leaf was especially useful in embellishing the wooden panels of altarpieces, icons and tabernacles. In stories designed to promote the power of sacred images--or to argue against idolatry--devotees are said to scrape at a painting with their fingernails and ingest the fragment. So, eating gold leaf has a long history! (As an attempt to "become one" with the holy subject represented on the panel, this act of vandalism was somewhat nutritious in that egg was used for the paint and glazes.)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Nancy Silverton offered this advice re decorating with gold leaf:

“Purchase a little booklet of ultrathin 22-carat gold leaf, the same kind used for illuminating manuscripts, at an art supply or paint store, bookbinder, or framer.

“To use, glaze the dessert and refrigerate until completely set and dry. Work in a draft-free area, because the gold is so thin that it will drift around in the slightest breeze. Peel back the separating paper to expose just as much gold leaf as you plan to use. Pick up a small, irregularly shaped bit with the tip of a small sharp knife and delicately lay it flat on the dessert. It can be placed in the center of a chocolate dessert or used as an accent to set off certain letters in a word written on the top. The gold must be laid flat, as it is not attractive bunched up. If the gold doesn’t adhere immediately, blow on it gently and it will stick.”

Source: Desserts (HarperPerennial, 1991); p. 342.

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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Pick up a small, irregularly shaped bit with the tip of a small sharp knife and delicately lay it flat on the dessert.

Bamboo tongs work much better for handling leaf than anything metal. :wink: I'm a glassblower, and use a fair amount of the precious metal leafs.

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Pick up a small, irregularly shaped bit with the tip of a small sharp knife and delicately lay it flat on the dessert.

Bamboo tongs work much better for handling leaf than anything metal. :wink: I'm a glassblower, and use a fair amount of the precious metal leafs.

A more refined tool, indeed, for handling these gold tidbits. Thank you!

Lawrence

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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I've always used a long, flat red sable artist's brush, stroke the brush on a piece of silk (or on a chunk of amber, since I do have that) which creates just enough of an electrical charge so the gold leaf will cling to the brush.

If using larger pieces of the leaf, one can buy a gilder's brush which is the same size as the gold sheet and again, stroking the brush on a piece of silk will allow you to lift the entire sheet and deposit it exactly where you wish.

When working with the gold leaf, I used a "tent" made of lightweight muslin sewn into a large tube shape with a removable hoop overhead.

Now one can buy very inexpensive photo tents which allow one to protect the work area from drafts.

Someone opening a door into the room where one is working, can cause the gold leaf to flutter away in tiny bits.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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