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People have not only worn gold for centuries, but they have eaten it as well. The first record of gold flakes being ingested dates to the medieval era. During the 16th century, Italian nobility used it as the finishing touch for their risotto. Elizabethans in England decorated their banquet fruit with the precious metal. Gold flakes have even been used for centuries by the Japanese to decorate their dishes and sake.
In addition to sake, there are certain liqueurs that contain gold flakes. Goldwasser, a German/Polish root and herbal liqueur, has been produced since the late 16th century with gold flakes. Gourmet stores now offer consumers edible gold leaf that they can use in their own cooking and dessert making. Generally, edible gold is mostly pure gold with a bit of edible silver mixed in.
Gold in food was recently in the news when the Guinness Book of World Records awarded the New York City restaurant, Serendipity 3, the record for most expensive dessert. The restaurant's confection is valued at $25,000 and contains five grams of 23-karat edible gold. The chocolate sundae is served in a goblet lined with edible gold and is topped with whipped cream and gold flakes.
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