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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Edibles: Burned Out on Sweets? Cheesy Popcorn is a Savory Solution

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge img_20120511_123104t.jpg

I'll admit, the whole drama that erupted between Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen this year fascinated me.

If you're not as gossip-driven as I am, here's a summary: Bourdain called out his fellow Food Network star Deen when she came out as a diabetic, despite pitching recipes like the one where she manages to sneak a stick of butter into ambrosia. Drool.

Some of it was that awful spell that gets cast on you when you hear about a spat between people in your world, be it friends or family, or if your priorities are totally fucked, people on TV.

Part of it was because I'm an adult-onset Type 2 diabetic. So even though I think Bourdain is the biggest douche nozzle east of Piedmont, I see his point. But I also see Paula's. It's kind of a personal thing, and I even struggled with mentioning it in this forum. But I like you, so I did.

There is no doubt that this presents a challenge in the search for tasty medibles. For various reasons, most of what you see are sweets, from peanut butter cups to the ubiquitous rice krispy treat. More vendors are getting into sugar-free options, and that's great. But still, how about a little balance between sweet and savory, eh?

That's why a shiny bag of cheese popcorn caught my eye while at Waterfall Wellness in the Ingleside neighborhood of San Francisco. I brought it home and eagerly set upon myself to perpetuate the worst stoner stereotype in the books, placing my bum gingerly upon a sofa and popping on the telly.

As I struggled not to punch the two-dimensional image of Pete Campbell in the face, I zipped open the bag. I was immediately struck by the way the two pungent aromas of Cheeto-esque cheesiness and cannabis-infused oil blended, with the cheese properly winning out in the end.

I took a couple of the more orange-tinged kernels and dug in. I was greeted with that familiar savory snack sensation of approximated cheese, and I ... wanted ... more. I grabbed a handful in classic frat-boy fashion, gobbling 'em up gratefully. Some of the kernels had a dash of saltiness that stood out from the mellow cheddary flavor that dominated, something that can be sorely missing from some of the more premium popcorn brands.

But I still wanted more. And that's my shameful minor complaint about this product. To my Cheetos-informed palate, it could have been cheesier. But I'd be lying if I didn't say I had to keep a watchful eye on the dosage levels, lest I end up like Blair Brown at the end of Altered States. No thanks. The dosage recommended on the bag is a mere 15 kernels, so that took an iron will, as the cheese popcorn proved to be quite an addictive snack.

And this was a wise decision, because by the time I got to the Mad Men scene where Don is struggling through The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows," I was properly dosed.

You'll note a lack of detailed vendor and product information in this review. As stated in my previous entry, these are strange times in the fledgling medibles "industry," and some vendors are not at all forthcoming about providing information or allowing dispensaries to provide information about them. I will provide this information whenever available.

Steve Robles is a San Francisco-based writer and blogger. You can find his blog at or follow him on Twitter at @mrsteverobles. Follow us at @SFoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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