Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Indian Gold Foil or Eating Gold

I have been reading about Kum Boo and gold foil now on this forum for
nearly a month now. In India people eat silver and in still older times
they used to eat gold too. It sounds rather strange but this practice is
followed even now by 75 % of the people in India. We have a popular After
Meal titbit called “Paan” (in Hindi) which is actually a kind of betel
Leaf stuffed with nuts and other sweet stuff along with tobacco if you
want it. This is then enticingly covered with a very very thin silver foil
(It’s Indian name is “Chandi ki Varak” or “Sone ki Varak”) that comes
packed in between two tissue papers. Of course nowadays nobody serves Gold
Varak because of the prohibitive cost of gold but I know where one can get
it made. Now I have seen how this is made in India. It is actually hand
made by pounding very small tablets of gold or silver inbetween very thin
sheets of tough “leather” (we could call it that). This leather is
actually the skin of intestines of Deer and the people who make them in
different cities including Bombay and delhi actually have several sets of
them.One set they use to pound it to a certain thickness. This they call
the course leather set. Then after the pounded bits of silver becomes a
certain guage they change (the leather set)and pound still more. The
silver foils are never more than approx 3" x 3". If you come to India it
is a sight and sound worth seeing. Now I have a proposal, I am comming to
the US in the next month and this foil is not expensive as such. I think
if I am not mistaken, it costs not more than $ 50 for a hundred or so of
these silver foils (3inches x 3 inches) You dont get it in much larger
sizes. I can post them for free to whoever wants to experiment with them
maybe you could re-imburse me with postal costs. Or in the alternative If
you have Indian friends out there show them what I have written and they
will know what I am talking about. Maybe you can even get them at any
Indian store in US or Canada. You will get it maybe from any Indian
restaurant that sells “Paan”.

This is just a thought that occurred to me. Let me know off the forum if
anyone is interested.

Manoj Gupta


Get your free address at

This is not restricted to India. There still are several ‘cordials’ sold
in the US and in Europe, such as “Gildwasser Glockenspeil”, which, as a
cordial, was originally medicinal. Gildwasser Glockenspeil is a black
cherry (?) cordial, with a suspension of fine gold leaf flakes. There is
also a schnapps, and perhaps more than one, that has gold leaf in it,
probably also stemming from the medieval medicinal cordials.

Marrin Fleet
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
(About halfway between the Gulf of Mexico
and Canada, on the Mississippi River;
home of Elvis and W.C.Handy)

the use of gold foil in food came to Europe in the late Middle Ages
along with spices and silks after the crusades. Traditional Italian
cooking, such as the gold coated mandorla (almond) reflects this…a
legacy of when parts of Italy were occupied by the “saracens”.
there is also a kind of sake (japanese rice wine) with gold leaf
flakes in it…seldom seen outside of Japan eve wallace
@eve_wallace1 boulder, CO