Weed-Wielding Chefs Take Comfort Food to a New High

In Colorado and abroad, serious chefs are giving marijuana a go.

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As Colorado celebrates the one-year anniversary of legalized recreational marijuana sales, leave it to The New York Times to identify a leafy new restaurant trend for 2015: pot-infused cuisine.

Yep, we’re not just talking about brownies anymore. And apparently it’s not just Colorado chefs who are looking to give their guests a little Rocky Mountain high. From bakeries in Washington to New York City cookbook publishers, Times reporter Kim Severson explores some of the hurdles chefs deal with when introducing weed into their recipes.

“First, it’s hard to control how high people get when they eat marijuana,” writes Severson. “And second, it really doesn’t taste that good.”

This isn’t the first time the Grey Lady has swooned over the “haute stoner food aesthetic.” In an earlier article, the newspaper celebrated foods that taste especially good in an altered state, from Big Macs to slow-cooked quail eggs and caviar.

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Marijuana has been used in baked goods for years. Photo: Flickr user "prensa420" (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Marijuana in the kitchen is hardly a new phenomenon. In 1954, Gertrude Stein’s life partner Alice B. Toklas included a recipe for “Haschich Fudge” in The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. She noted that the recipe was “easy to whip up on a rainy day,” but also advised “...it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.” The recipe helped propel the book to become one of the best-selling cookbooks of all time.

But when the Times turns its august pages to an overview of pot-infused food possibilities, do we smell a fad?

It seems to be more than that. The Denver Post reports that one of the biggest surprises during Colorado’s first year of legalized marijuana sales was the proliferation of pot-infused edibles. Cookies, candies and drinks were expected to be a niche market but now account for roughly 45 percent of the legal marijuana marketplace, according to the Post.

Meanwhile, we’ll take our cooking lessons from Nonna Marijuana, a 91-year-old Italian-American who learned how to cook with medical weed, as a way to control her daughter’s grand mal seizures.



Hero image: Flickr user "debrasolomonvanculiblog" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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