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Glittering Gluttony

Andy Lynes - December 9th, 2013

London chefs and producers are gilding the edible lily this holiday season and taking gold leaf garnish well beyond cake or truffle tops, mixing glitz, sparkle, and shine right inside chocolates, jams, jellies, marmalades, teas, mulling spice syrup, beer, Champagne, and more. All that glitters is most definitely glamorous this season.

This Christmas season, chefs and food and drink producers are adding festive sparkle to their food in the form of edible gold and silver flakes and glitter. Items range from top London chocolatier Paul A. Young's sublime Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh—combining the three biblical gifts in a bar made with 70 percent Star of Peru dark chocolate—to the frankly ridiculous Golden Queen Bee Belgian beer, commanding a wholloping €25 ($40) price tag for 75cl (25 fl. oz.) due to the addition of some 24-karat gold flakes.

'Tis the season to be jelly, especially with Cranberry Jelly with Silver Leaf; Buck's Fizz Marmalade made with Sevìlle oranges, Prosecco, Marc de Champagne, and edible glitter; strawberries with "stardust" (aka, edible glitter); and Christmas mulled wine jelly with gold leaf, ready for turkeys, toast, or scones—all available from Fortnum & Mason, London's famed 306 year old department store.

Get your guests’ Christmas morning off to a glittering start with a cup of Vegas Tea—a blend of China orange pekoe black tea, pearlized sugar, colored sugar crystals, and gold—or Bloom's 24-karat Rare Gold tea—combining rare Golden Monkey King loose-leaf black tea with edible 24-karat gold petals.

At 51 Buckingham Gate hotel in London, they've gilded the good old fashioned British afternoon tea with pastry chef Nikhil Vyas's precious creations, including a Gold Leaf Jelly. The £75 ($122) a head treat for two also includes a half bottle of Luxor Pure Gold 24K Brut Champagne made with, you guessed it, flakes of 24-karat gold.

Incredibly, no one, it seems, has yet to come up with the idea of golden mince pies. That's surely a gap in the market that some enterprising Food Arts reader can fill…