Gold is still a big business in Dubai, and the country does not hesitate to flaunt that wealth, through gold-plated sports cars, vending machines that distribute gold bars and especially Sprinkle gold on luxury food.
One of Dubai’s most famous hotels, Burj Al Arab, is embellished with approximately 1,790 m2 of 24 karat gold leaf. At the bar in this hotel, people mix gold dust into cappuccino or stir into cocktails in Gold On 27, located on the 27th floor full of lavish, sparkling in the golden light illuminating everywhere.
In fact, when it comes to gold in dishes or drinks they don’t bring any flavor. So why do customers like gold-covered or sprinkled dishes?
“Gold is synonymous with luxury, something that’s extravagant, luxurious,” explained Etienne Haro, assistant food and drink executive assistant at Burj Al Arab, explaining that he uses up to 700 grams of gold – sourced from Italy and India – each year for food and beverage services.
Typically, gold consumed in cuisine is in the form of gold leaf, flakes or dust, as opposed to solid gold used in jewelry. It is biologically inert and therefore safe to consume – albeit tasteless.
“Diamonds are a little hard to chew, so gold is more suitable to integrate into cocktails,” Haro joked.
The gold-soaked items on the menu include white chocolate mixed with gold, a pepper mill specially designed to crush gold snow on food or cocktails, yellow sugar cubes for tea-inspired mocktails and a Decorative spray bottle of pure gold.
The most iconic cocktail at the bar – named Element 79, consists of a sparkling wine that is free of alcohol and gold, food coloring mixed with pure gold and a piece of yellow sugar. As a result, this cocktail became a shiny tornado.
In addition to having guests upload selfies on Instagram and other social networking sites, each cocktail is specially designed to guide international visitors about Dubai’s history and vision, Haro explained. Cocktails are organized into three parts – Old Dubai, New Dubai and Future Dubai – with names like “Light Sweet Crude”, “The City of Gold” and 2020.
There was a clear desire to enjoy the lavish enjoyment of the guests at Burj Al Arab, as Haro and his team often had to deal with ambitious requests.
For example, there are always customers who order a cake that is completely covered in gold and made according to a specific recipe. Haro’s team also created a cheesecake in the form of a giant golden donut and a five-course gold menu for a car company. Many other customers require burgers, pizzas or salads … all covered or sprinkled with gold.
According to Professor Barbara Santich at the University of Adelaide, Australia: Although gold is now being added to dishes as a means to show off wealth, in medieval Europe it was reserved for nobility. During this historical period, gold was given special conventions – like the Chinese believe that oranges bring good luck, Santich explained.
Dubai is not the only city that serves gold for dinner. In fact, the world’s most expensive commercial pizza can be found at Industrial Kitchen in New York, USA.
The $ 2,700 pizza needs to be ordered 48 hours in advance and topped with foie gras, two caviar, truffles and 24K gold foil.