Marijuana-Food Pairings: 10 Questions With Denver Pot Critic William Breathes
After recently writing a goofy post about imaginary pot-food pairings, I received an email from the pseudonymous William Breathes, one of two medical marijuana critics for our sister paper Westword, in Denver, Colorado. He expressed gratitude for being mentioned in the post and disappointment in not being invited to my pot soiree -- then added, for the record, that "Sour D goes well with rich, nutty red wines and stinky, aged crumbly cheese like asiago."
William is a 29-year-old grad student with an undergraduate degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver. He is a medical marijuana patient due to ongoing hospitalizations from nausea and stomach pain, but freely admits to smoking pot recreationally as well. In the blog, called Mile Highs and Lows, Breathes, along with cohort The Wildflower Seed, reviews marijuana dispensaries around Denver in informative and often humorous fashion. They bested over 300 entrants to become the nation's first pot critics, and as such William has been chronicled by everyone from BBC to The Daily Show -- and has even taken a bong hit on CNN We at Short Order were mostly interested in the connection between weed and feed.
New Times: You mentioned that wine-cheese match for Sour D. How did you determine that, and do you have other favorite pairings?
William Breathes: I just have found over time that certain strains go well with my dinner selections. Sour D goes well with red wine because of the fruity accents. Certain trainwreck variations go great with smoked seafood -- there's this buttery lemon taste to it that is great. Finally, a good skunk variety with a skunky beer is one of the most simple, yet pleasing pairings. Lemon Skunk with a Heineken, for example.
Any other beverages strike you as being especially marijuana-friendly?
Orange juice, there's nothing better.
Is there such a thing as people sitting down for dinner and matching a different weed with each course?
I haven't really heard of this, though there are lots of
dispensaries and chefs around town who are putting together
ganja-prepared servings. For example, Denver Relief recently put on a
6-course ganja meal, where everything was infused in some way. That's
not to say that it was all pot cookies, either. Everything from salad
dressing to ice cream can be made with ganja.
How does pairing food and pot differ from doing so with food and
wine? And when sampling pot without the food, would the equivalent of a
spit bucket be to not inhale?
I'm not really a food critic, so I can't answer that with any
authority -- but I have done a beer tasting before, and I find that
beer tasting and pot tasting are very similar. And while I did spit out
the beer, I never waste a hit of good ganja.
Worst 3 foods to eat when stoned?
1. Saltine crackers
2. Cotton candy (the texture is all wrong)
3. Split pea soup
What's your favorite weed?
Diesel-Haze, White Fire, Killer Queen, Cough and Super Silver Haze are my top five. It's hard to pick any more specifically.
Your favorite pot/food matchup?
Super Silver Haze and any tomato-basil based pasta dish.
Some comestibles, such as ice cream, chocolate, Hostess Twinkies, etc., work well with all strains, right?
I would say so, though I don't really get hungry for munchy-type
eats on heavy indicas (hash plant, etc). That said, you can deep fry
anything (Twinkies, ice cream, chocolate) and it's appealing to just
about any stoned person.
What pot/food combo do you suppose would provoke the freakiest dreams?
I always have strange dreams after Indian food nights...so likely
Indian food with some really heavy hash. That makes me freak out just
thinking of it, actually.
What do you hear about the pot in Miami? Did you know we're supposedly the Chronic Capital of the USA?
It seems the only thing I ever hear about pot in Miami is about
the Square Groupers of bailed dirt weed that wash up on the beaches. I
know you guys are famous for the "crippie", but you're also famous for
some pretty harsh drug laws. This should stir the waters a bit, but
hands down the Chronic Capital of the USA right now is Denver, Colorado.
Have people in Denver gotten noticeably fatter since all the medical marijuana clinics started sprouting?
If people in Denver are getting fatter, it's not because of the
ganja (which we were smoking anyway)... if anything it's because of the
influx of food trucks to our fair city. Who am I kidding, I'm always
stoned and hungry. Now, where's the Cupcake truck today...
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.