Eating Gold

Date posted: March 20, 2017


From donuts to burgers, food gets the Midas touch.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Last week, I was half-watching the local news when they captured my attention by mentioning a golden donut. The treat, from a Los Angeles restaurant called Birdies, is a vanilla-glazed donut covered with edible 24K gold leaves and topped with champagne. It sells for $100. Now I love donuts, but first, I’m not sure about eating 24K gold and second—$100!

But apparently golden donuts are not the only food that looks as if it were touched by Midas. The same week I saw the news report, the newsletter Cassandra Daily, which covers Millennial trends, reported, “Young consumers crave food and beverages that stand out in their [social media] 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.”

They noted golden hamburger buns, developed by The Roadery, a food truck business from the U.K.; sushi wrapped in gold leaf, from Japan and also costing in the vicinity of $100; and ice cream (also originating in Japan) “wrapped in an edible gold leaf” resembling a golden-dipped Dairy Queen cone (or golden-dipped Brown Bonnet for you East Coast Carvel fans.

Cassandra Daily reports the golden food is intended to appeal to Millennials’ sense of luxury. The trend was reported on last year by Mashable, which noted gold leaf has no taste, is chemically inert and easily passes through our digestive systems. They mentioned part of the popularity of gold food is it stands out in posters’ Instagram feeds, and they quoted someone who said this trend is a “flash in the pan.” However, it’s still being buzzed about a year later.

Obviously, no restaurant is going to focus on serving golden food, but creating a golden concoction or two could be a good way to drum up some local publicity.

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