It’s unusual for innovation in California to develop outside of Silicon Valley, but this time it’s Napa Valley that’s making the headlines. Vineyards and farms in the area are causing a storm among foodies with their products that give you a ‘natural’ high.
Since marijuana was legalized across half the United States, it’s easy enough to add some weed to your muffins and brownies. But Napa vintners have taken it a step further, grafting vines to both traditional rootstock and cannabis plants. The result is natural wine that makes you seriously relaxed.
Organic tomatoes have also been hybridized to incorporate a little THC in their juices, giving that salad or burger a bit of a boost. Growers are experimenting with other veggies and fruit, but with limited success. Strawberries are showing great promise, with ‘Potberries and Cream’ appearing on one local menu.
Some food critics have called this trend “unethical and possibly illegal” but it’s just sour grapes. The FDA has analyzed the final products and found only minute traces of THC. “I’m sure it’s the California sunshine and great vibe that’s causing customers to rave about these dishes,” says a microbiologist, helping herself to more Napa Gold ketchup. “It’s like the placebo effect.”
Placebo or not, Napa Valley is experiencing a boom in demand for its products. Labels like Cannabis Cabernet and High Five (a Bordeaux-style blend) are topping the wine list at restaurants from Sausalito to San Diego. And customers are happy to pay top dollar for these exotic varietals. So happy they’re almost euphoric.