Imagine you’re eating a meal at a restaurant and a loaf of bread is brought out with a candle placed on top of it. Your dining partner scoops some of the melted candle bits on the bread, and starts eating it. This is what happened in December 2022 in a restaurant in Chicago named Carriage House. They served a butter candle, which is a cube of butter with a wick in it, setting off a viral trend on social media. The eatery featured the dish on the menu under the guidance of chef Jordan Andino. As the candle melts, diners can dip bread and other foods like meat or vegetables into it, making each bite deliciously indulgent.
Noma in Copenhagen, which is a three-Michelin star restaurant, also made an edible candle in December 2022 using reindeer blood and caramel fudge.
In an article published in 2022 by the news program Good Morning America (GMA), titled Butter candles add edible ambiance to the table and Tiktok ‘loaves’ it, Andino talked about the inspiration for the candle: “We wanted to create an elevated bread moment at Carriage House where everyone has this unique butter candle prepared with compound butter that will change seasonally and offers a ‘wow’ moment at the start of the meal.”
The candle at the eatery sparked interest in the trend in 2023 too, with food content creators trying their hand at making butter candles at home. For example, a tutorial by food blogger Shreya Sanghvi (@theunoplate) in May got over 4.5 lakh views and 1.5 lakh likes. Other creators like Aditya Sahu (@adiz_gram) showed tutorials of aloo paratha topped with the candle in reel posted in April.
However, edible candles were popular in some restaurants in India even before they went viral. An article published by the lifestyle magazineIndulge Express titled, Avartana in Chennai serves candles made of ghee & rasam martinis, in 2018 details a dish at the restaurant Avartana in the hotel ITC Grand Chola, consisting of slow-roasted pork belly with a miniature ghee candle with an edible lotus stem. The dish is on the menu even today.
To add a gourmet flair to your Sunday brunch, try making a butter candle. You can play around by adding different flavourings, such as garlic, rosemary, paprika, and even by blending parmesan cheese. Sweet versions can be made by adding cinnamon or vanilla essence. Sliced bread, meat, and noodles go perfectly with the savoury version of the candle, while dessert lovers may enjoy the candle with muffins, cake, pancakes, waffles and French Toasts. As the recipe calls for an edible wick, a hemp wick with a beeswax coating, that can be bought online, does the trick.