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Cocktails for a Gilded Age


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From the Washington Post

LOS ANGELES -- It's the holiday season, and so for the festive yuletide table, hosts in the know are considering the noble metals this year. The latest food trend: edible gold and silver.

You can eat your bling. With gold selling for more than $500 an ounce, that's conspicuous consumption.

Harmless fun? The triumph of form at the expense of substance? Or what the nobles were quaffing at Versailles when the peasants stormed the Bastille?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Harmless, but kind of weird. The thought of my poo having monetary value scares me.

I once had some gold leaf caramels from Amernicks. Yummy, but I kept trying to isolate the gold leaf and see what it tasted like. Tastes like a whole bunch of metallic nothin'.

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So, disbeliever that I am, I checked out the website in the article, EdibleGold.com and found that the prices were higher for the silver than the gold ... tonight's menu at my house? Golden meatloaf with silver studded mashed potatoes ... :laugh:

Goes well with that Ruby Red Cocktail mentioned here, don't you think? :huh:

Jewels for the Jaded? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Harmless fun? The triumph of form at the expense of substance? Or what the nobles were quaffing at Versailles when the peasants stormed the Bastille?

Things like conspicuous amounts of gold leaf and rubies and XO cognac in cocktails are simply conspicuous stupidity for rubes with too much money in their pockets and not enough good taste (not to mention good sense). What's the point? I could see putting a tiny bit of something in a cocktail if it made a really striking visual effect, and maybe some of the gold garnishes are cheap enough and make a nice enough effect for this to be worthwhile. But really, I can't imagine that this sort of thing often adds anything to the drink to justify the price.

Then again, the price is sometimes the point isn't it? It's all part of the competition to have "the most expensive [insert food or drink item here]." Not dissimilar from the "world's most expensive burger" nonsense that followed DB Bistro Moderne's "super-luxe burger" -- which is very good and was designed with culinary goals in mind -- with absurd and bad-tasting creations designed to ratchet up the price and volume of luxury ingredients (usually inappropriately, as things like waygu beef are not only overkill for a burger, but are actually not good in that form). Ultimately, I suppose superexpensive drinks like this are all about the publicity. I can't imagine anyone is buying them.

Edited to add: I see that the use of gold leaf doesn't have to be super-expensive, but it still seems a bit silly. Than again, maybe it's my bias about garnishes being edible and contributing flavor that's talking here. :smile:

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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I have a confession. I've used the dust -- not on cocktails, but to sprinkle on top of christmas truffles. [Disclaimer: I got a free box from the distributor, Lynn, who was mentioned in the article; I doubt I'd have bought it.]

But I have to say that it's really pretty. I've tried "luster dust" (a sparkly dust for pastry work) before, and it doesn't come close in looks to the real gold.

When Lynn came to the store to do a demonstration, she had a cocktail glass rimmed with the dust. That, I thought, was gaudy -- just too much. And the "chunks" (which I also have) are a little much for my taste. But I could see a little of it mixed in with sugar to rim a special cocktail, although I haven't tried that. And a tiny pinch in the bottom of a champagne glass before it's filled makes the whole thing sparkle. Useless? Yes? Frivolous? Undoubtedly. But really cool looking.

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