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#1
Old 12-15-2009, 01:25 PM
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Where are those tiny edible silver balls?

I'm in the mood to make cookies this Christmas since the first time since ... well, ever really. I've got some decorations for cookies, but I can't find those little nonpareils -- tiny bb-sized balls of candy coated with edible silver. Old-timers seem to remember them, on cupcakes and such. But I can't find them -- at supermarkets, or Michaels craft stores. Does anyone know where they've bought them recently? Or when did they stop making them? To be honest, I'm a little worried small kids would see edible metallic spheres and start swallowing screws they find lying around -- did that happen, and they ended up banned?
#2
Old 12-15-2009, 01:27 PM
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Try googling "silver dragees".
#3
Old 12-15-2009, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Who View Post
Try googling "silver dragees".
According to a magazine article I just read (in Ladies Home Journal), the packages are now labeling them as being "for decoration only; not edible." because of the small amount of metal actually contained in them!

I grew up nomming these things thoughtlessly, not to mention a bunch of second-hand smoke in the house and no seatbelts in the car. . .

it's a wonder I ever reached the age I have!
#4
Old 12-15-2009, 01:38 PM
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Just a heads-up - the FDA doesn't consider the metal ones to be edible and California no longer sells them. Depending on where you live, that may be part of your problem.
#5
Old 12-15-2009, 01:38 PM
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Yup, dragees.

As of at least a decade ago, you couldn't find them in traditional grocery stores in the U.S. any longer. I know this because, around '97 or so, my wife had an entire Christmas dinner planned around a cake that used those things (in both silver and gold), and was *extremely* upset when I went to four different grocery stores and couldn't find them.

I finally did find them at a specialty grocery store; they had big labels on them that said "NOT A FOOD PRODUCT".

I have no idea if you can even find them at specialty stores any more, though it wouldn't surprise me if they were available at a bakery supply store.
#6
Old 12-15-2009, 01:41 PM
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Even as a kid, I only rarely ate those. The larger ones, at least, seemed just way too hard to be good for your teeth (and this from someone who still crunches away at hard candy) and they didn't even taste good.
#7
Old 12-15-2009, 02:00 PM
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Oh no! Not sold in California. They have ridiculous labeling laws, that make the other 49 states laugh in derision.
#8
Old 12-15-2009, 02:02 PM
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Article about the "controversial dragee":

http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot....kes-again.html
#9
Old 12-15-2009, 02:06 PM
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As it happens, I've been helping the kids at the kindergarten where I work to decorate Christmas cookies these last few days, and we've used dragees among other things. So they're definitely still sold here. I recommend stocking up on your next trip to Scandinavia.
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#10
Old 12-15-2009, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Article about the "controversial dragee":

http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot....kes-again.html
That lawyer should go after people selling Goldschläger next.
#11
Old 12-15-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
That lawyer should go after people selling Goldschläger next.
I'm not a doctor (or a lawyer, thank god), but I think gold passes right through you. I know silver is why some people have turned blue (although that was colloidal silver). So he has a point that silver can have health effects, but considering how little you're going to eat it's ridiculous.
#12
Old 12-15-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norinew View Post
According to a magazine article I just read (in Ladies Home Journal), the packages are now labeling them as being "for decoration only; not edible." because of the small amount of metal actually contained in them!

I grew up nomming these things thoughtlessly, not to mention a bunch of second-hand smoke in the house and no seatbelts in the car. . .

it's a wonder I ever reached the age I have!
Yep. We had some in the house left over from when my grandfather retired as a baker decades earlier. My mom is usually paranoid about things that might hurt the kids, but she knowing let us eat them. I would not let these anywhere near kids as they have real silver.
#13
Old 12-15-2009, 02:35 PM
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I wouldn't use them myself, not because of a trace amount of silver getting into my system, but because breaking teeth is painful, inconvenient, and expensive (ask me how I know this!).
#14
Old 12-15-2009, 03:44 PM
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Oh, so they're called dragees, OK, I remember them now. Well, that's what screwed up my ability to find them. Right, like that word -- "dragee" is really going to jump out in the grocery store stockboy's mind. Well, now with the name I can Google ...

Oh dear, illegal in California, and the activist lawyer even took on Martha Stewart. So brave. So selfless.

Oh wait, I can order online ... wait, they come in gold too, and in multiple sizes, and in rainbow metalic colors. Holy crap! I can buy them by the pound. And I will. My Christmas tree cookies will look nicer than the average tree.

Thanks to the name, I can even seach the SDMB, it appears this all started in 2000. Mmm ... aluminum traces in my cupcakes.

You know, when I was real little, I wasn't sure I was supposed to eat them. Only when I was older, and could read the ingredients list on the box, did I start crunching these little ball bearings.

Well, if anyone's bought them recently in a store, I'd like to know where, anyway.

Last edited by Arkcon; 12-15-2009 at 03:45 PM.
#15
Old 12-15-2009, 04:26 PM
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They are called cachous here in oz. Last weekend I consumed a significant amount while "helping" some kids make cupcakes.
#16
Old 12-15-2009, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
You know, when I was real little, I wasn't sure I was supposed to eat them. Only when I was older, and could read the ingredients list on the box, did I start crunching these little ball bearings.
Same here! I remember seeing them and being confused as to why they'd put CLEARLY inedible decoration on something kids might eat.
#17
Old 12-15-2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Where are those tiny edible silver balls?
have a look at the back of the lone rangers horse.......
#18
Old 12-15-2009, 05:08 PM
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Weird, there was a thread about this on snopes a couple days ago. I must confess, I've never heard of them or even had one, but now I kind of want one. In spite of the danger.
#19
Old 12-15-2009, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
I wouldn't use them myself, not because of a trace amount of silver getting into my system, but because breaking teeth is painful, inconvenient, and expensive (ask me how I know this!).
My mom broke a crown on a conversation heart my father picked out for her.
#20
Old 12-15-2009, 06:14 PM
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Whew, I survived my childhood by the skin of my teeth if those weren't fit for human consumption.
#21
Old 12-15-2009, 08:58 PM
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Well, we've all done a lot of things as kids that some people wouldn't let fly now, that's obvious. To avoid lawsuits over chipped teeth, it may have been easier to just say "inedible" and just wink at what we'd do. As I recall, just a few years ago, Martha Stewart suggested buying metal foils to coat your cookies -- edible gold (I'd had that on cake once), edible silver (I had that on Indian sweets once) and copper foils. Copper is for decoration only -- that one is toxic, that much I know. Then again, Martha Stewart was sued by the lawyer above, so what does she, or centuries of old world tradition know? And if I'm so sure copper foil is toxic, and gold isn't, how sure am i really about silver?

As an aside, I'd heard years ago, the red dye used in maraschino cherries was a cancer agent. But it was the only one that would dye cherries properly. You were supposed to discard your cherry, it was "only for decoration." Good God. That does not describe my behavior towards marischino cherries at all.

When I was a kid, I fought with my sister for the jar. We counted the cherries daily to make sure we each got an equal share, we sliced the last one into two equal halves with the precision of a surgeon. And we really fought over the portions of cherry juice. Mom vowed again and again she'd never buy them again. We never made sundaes, we just scarfed the jar down.
#22
Old 12-15-2009, 09:13 PM
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So...you're not supposed to eat them, yet they're put on food? Humans, we are a weird species.
#23
Old 12-15-2009, 11:09 PM
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Well, they impressed the Doctor: "“Nobody else in this entire galaxy’s ever even bothered to make edible ball bearings. Genius.” He'd probably be very disappointed in California.
#24
Old 12-16-2009, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
Oh, so they're called dragees, OK, I remember them now. Well, that's what screwed up my ability to find them. Right, like that word -- "dragee" is really going to jump out in the grocery store stockboy's mind. Well, now with the name I can Google ...

Oh dear, illegal in California, and the activist lawyer even took on Martha Stewart. So brave. So selfless.

Oh wait, I can order online ... wait, they come in gold too, and in multiple sizes, and in rainbow metalic colors. Holy crap! I can buy them by the pound. And I will. My Christmas tree cookies will look nicer than the average tree.

Thanks to the name, I can even seach the SDMB, it appears this all started in 2000. Mmm ... aluminum traces in my cupcakes.

You know, when I was real little, I wasn't sure I was supposed to eat them. Only when I was older, and could read the ingredients list on the box, did I start crunching these little ball bearings.

Well, if anyone's bought them recently in a store, I'd like to know where, anyway.
I live in CA and can't get them - if you get somebody to mail them to you, will you let me know? Sites I've seen won't even ship them here! This is a major Childhood Nostalgia item for me, dammit!!
#25
Old 12-16-2009, 03:30 AM
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I just saw those in the store recently - at a Michael's craft store (or JoAnn Fabrics) with the Christmas cookie decorating supplies. They had pearl-like ones too. Very pretty!
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