Everything You Need To Know About Edible Silver Foil

by Kindi Lantz July 26, 2018

Answers to your questions about edible silver foil

Edible Silver Foil, or Vark, is a culinary embellishment used to adorn both sweet and savory dishes. In the past, it was primarily used in South-Asian cuisine but has recently garnered attention in fusion foods and baked goods globally. If you are an edible silver foil novice, though, there may be some serious hesitation—questions that need to be answered before taking a metallic leap of faith in your gastronomic escapades. I’ll do my best to answer those questions here!

Is edible silver foil safe to eat?

Yes! Pure edible silver foil was deemed safe for consumption by the European food-safety certification agency, TÜV Rheinland. That said, one has to be sure that the edible silver they obtain is pure. There are plenty of vark products being sold that contain other elements such as copper, aluminum, lead, nickel, and others non-approved metals. Our edible silver foil is made only of 100% pure silver in its inert form so it is absolutely safe to ingest.


How is edible silver foil made?

Edible silver foil is made by pounding non-ionic bioactive pieces of silver into paper-thin sheets. Silver sheets are placed between pages of booklets. The exact materials used in these booklets differ, however. The traditional practice is to use the intestinal lining from a recently slaughtered cow, sheep, or ox because of its elasticity (it won’t puncture when hammered) but other methods are now being used to ensure the silver remains vegetarian. In Indian markets, you might find it pounded between old phone books. Another, more common practice is to use parchment paper.


What does edible silver foil taste like?

Absolutely nothing. Edible silver foil is totally flavorless. It won't alter the flavor profile of the culinary creations you put it on and is purposed as more of a feast for your eyes! So whether you are thinking of enhancing a spicy sushi roll or a decadent pastry, go ahead! The intricacies of piquancy will not be overshadowed by this shiny edible.


What are the health benefits of edible silver foil?

To put it bluntly, edible silver foil is empty of properties beneficial to your health. It cannot be digested so any believed benefits of its properties will not be transferred when consumed. So unless you consider aesthetic satisfaction a health benefit (and I’m sure there is some correlation to visual pleasure and uplifted moods), you likely won’t be adding silver to your food for health reasons.


That said, metals have been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries and some believe that drinking from silver vessels or eating with silver cutlery can aid in digestive issues.


How do you use edible silver foil?

You’ll first need to decide whether you want loose leaf edible silver or transfer leaf silver. They are applied slightly differently and produce different results. Transfer leaf is much easier to apply to surfaces. As the name suggests the silver is pressed to a sheet of paper that can be removed from the booklet and allows you to easily transfer it to another surface. The application is simple; place the sheet with the silver facing the item you will be embellishing and gently rub the paper to transfer it from the paper to the new surface. Transfer leaf silver is best used for flat or otherwise smooth surfaces. Loose leaf silver works much better for uneven surfaces and should especially be chosen when there are cracks or crevices that need to be filled. Loose leaf also produces a much more rustic result. To apply loose leaf silver, you’ll need a Gliders Brush, as it can not be touched with your hands (unless you want it to magically vanish before your eyes). You’ll want to wet the surface you are applying it to slightly and remove it from the paper backing using the brush. Then, very gently press it onto the surface with the gliders brush. And, voila!

What are you planning on using your edible silver foil for? Do you have any other questions we can help answer? Let us know in the comments section!





Kindi Lantz
Kindi Lantz

Author

Kindi Lantz discovered her love of cooking long before she could even reach the kitchen counters; her grandmother gave her access to nearly every ingredient in her kitchen for her (mostly inedible) experiments. Kindi’s culinary capabilities continued to grow even when she had reached her peak height at just under 5’. Her first job was as a Chef’s Assistant on her relatives’ farm at the age of 11. Throughout high school and college, she worked in a wide variety of restaurants—from American pub food to Japanese, Korean to Cajun, and down-home diners to Italian— and with each, she developed techniques and expanded her culinary expertise. For the better part of 10 years, Kindi managed and even took on part ownership of a gourmet catering company in the Portland, OR metro area—it was there, alongside some of the most talented chefs, planners, and entertainers, that Kindi’s passion developed the most. Kindi is obsessed with only using fresh and sustainably-sourced ingredients in the recipes she creates, which is what led her to SloFoodGroup!


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