THE GILDED AGE
Edible gold is having a moment
Young consumers crave food and beverages that stand out in their feeds, giving rise to unexpectedly colorful culinary concoctions. While purple food, particularly ube, is poised to be a major food trend this year, edible gilded creations are also proving to be worth one’s weight in gold.
GOLD ICE CREAM
There’s no shortage of eye-catching desserts flooding the Internet, but one has stood out as lately for being far fancier than the rest: gold ice cream. Eatery Hakuichi in Kanazawa, Japan is the pioneer of the concept, which consists of ice cream wrapped in an edible gold leaf. The paper is placed over soft serve, requiring customers to bite through it, rather than lick the frozen treat. While the coating doesn’t have much taste, it certainly provides photo-worthy fodder and reflects young consumers’ mindset that unique food and beverage experiences are a key form of luxury.
While extreme versions of sushi have been gaining momentum, one creation takes the trend to new heights; diners at Shinjuku Isetan in Tokyo can opt for sushi wrapped in an edible gold leaf. The dish, dubbed Tokusen Kaisen Jyuni Hitoe Maki, is packed with more than a dozen types of seafood, including tuna, puffer fish, eel, and squid surrounded by a seaweed wrap and gold paper. While quality sushi is often pricy, this variation is even more so; a roll costs $96. The restaurant’s hidden location adds to its allure, as it’s tucked in the basement of a seafood grocer.
At the Eat the World festival in Dubai last month, UK food truck The Roadery unveiled a gold-plated burger inspired by the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa. The creation, dubbed the Burg Khalifa, consists of four beef patties, seared duck foie gras, black truffled cheese, saffron mayonnaise, and most notably, a 24-carat gold burger bun—a recipe and design that took months of planning. While the burger is billed as street food, the creators sought to make a dish that would reflect the city’s reputation for luxury.