So I took myself off to Mithai, a small Indian specialist confectionary cafe on the corner of Sandringham and Mt Albert Roads (there’s also a store in Manurewa) to sample a selection of their dainty, perfectly formed silver leaf confectionary.
Made from ground almonds, cashews, coconut, chickpea flour or milk powder, not all the sweets contain silver leaf. Some are fruit shaped – mango and strawberry flavours are popular – they’re quite delicious, and very pretty.
But the paper-thin shimmering silver leaf… silver is a very old therapeutic ingredient that was used by ancient cultures including the Romans, Arabs, Chinese and Sanskrit for its anti-bacterial properties, to treat wounds, and for its soothing effect on the nerves, including peripheral nerve endings. It’s still used in Ayurveda treatments and in skin care for its cooling and healing properties.
And the blue-blood? Well, it seems that aristocrats in many cultures would have their meals served on the finest silver plate, using silver cutlery and silver cooking utensils, and the traces of silver entering the blood stream reputedly gave it, literally, a blue tint.
See? – I said becoming a blue blood was easy!
More on the virtues of eating silver leaf http://www.brandimarte.com/en/silver-passion
‘Let your food be your medicine’
The 2015 edition of A Guide to Vegetarian Cafes is due out this month.