Today is 4/20, so as is customary, loads of people are in Hyde Park smoking weed, to demonstrate how much they like smoking weed. For a lot of people, a big part of smoking weed is becoming increasingly hungry the more stoned you get. That sensation is what experts call "the munchies."
We went to Hyde Park today to ask people what they'd brought with them to cure their "munchies," whether or not food really tastes better when you're high, and if they can remember the fanciest thing they've ever eaten while they were stoned.
VICE: How's your 4/20 going?
Cedar: Yeah, good man—nice crowd, nice vibe. It's much better than last year because there isn't a ring of police around us. But it's still a bit of a shame that they're wasting so much money on a helicopter that isn't going to achieve anything.
Let's talk about the food you've brought down. The first thing I see is a sushi roll that cost £4.20.
Indeed. It's probably the most expensive item of food in the shop, but I went in and saw the £4.20 and thought, Happy 4/20, and I bought myself a treat.
Is sushi your go-to stoned food of choice?
It's one of—especially if it's in the sun, and I don't want a hot food. It's a nice dish to have in the sun with a spliff on a sunny day like this.
What would your favorite combination of cannabis and food be?
Cedar's friend: Can I give my two cents? Super lemon haze as an aperitif, followed by a side of bruschetta, and after you have some Cherry AK, dig into some slow-roasted pork belly.
Cedar: I was about to say, like, a burger from Honest Burger, or a fancy burger place. Just have a big joint of some indica weed, and then go for a big burger.
Does food really taste better when you're stoned?
Yeah, I think that's one of the few objective facts about cannabis: Food tastes better then you're stoned.
What's the fanciest thing you've ever eaten high?
I've eaten a lot of fancy stuff high, because I have a rich friend in LA, so whenever I go there, she takes me out to very nice places, and we get really stoned. Wagyu beef steak was probably the best one: that was a $120 piece of steak.
What's your relationship with cannabis and food?
Steve: Cannabis and food, to me, go hand in hand, because my mother owns a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. The first time I was really really stoned in high school, I took my friends to my mom's restaurant because that's one of the things you do when you're a brat with a mom who has a restaurant. It completely changed my food experience—there's rarely a meal that I'll have not stoned,
What was that first magical meal?
It was a combination plate, so it was one pork tamale with some red sauce and a cheese enchilada with a side of rice and beans, and a large root beer.
Do you think you could ever have a meal that good again? Or would you just end up chasing a dream if you tried to find one?
I don't think I've been chasing it, but I do look forward to different pairings. Not a lot of people like to mix cannabis with certain types of alcohol, but I think in moderation it actually kind of enhances what you have, especially with food.
Do you find different strains make you want to eat different food?
If I had steak, I'd probably smoke a heavy indica—especially strains like OG Kush, which tends to really stimulate my appetite. I'm smoking an OG Kush variant right now, and I can tell you: I'm pretty hungry. I could definitely eat a large gourmet burger.
What did you bring with you?
I only brought some Tyrrells crisps, unfortunately. I was ill prepared.
If you could bring a chef down to cook for everyone here, what meal would you ask for?
I'd bring someone pretty stoner-friendly, like Anthony Bourdain. And in a perfect world, I'd ask for mini pulled pork sandwiches with Memphis-style barbecue sauce.
What's the fanciest food you've had while high?
Probably foie gras and escargot. Or maybe l'entrecôte, which is a certain cut of steak in these high-end French places—it's like £50 [$70] per person.
Do you think food tastes better when you're stoned?
I think it enhances every sense if you're smoking good quality, organic, clean, properly cured cannabis. I think my choice to "medicate" before eating says a lot about how it enhances flavor. You just enjoy it more.
Hi. Why did you come to Hyde Park today?
Sam: It's my first year here, like, so I thought I'd turn up this year cause all my mates have gone four times in a row now. So I was like, it's about time I turn up cause we got back in touch, like, recently.
Oh cool, so it's a bit of a reunion.
Yeah! Yeah, it is as well!
I see you've gone for a wrap today. Is that your stoned food of choice?
It is today. We was just in Tesco. I was like: "That looks good."
Will the food help you smoke more weed?
Oh definitely. I've been smoking a lot of weed anyway, but, like, at the same time, food's a bonus to that as well. Like, I'll really enjoy the day now. I'm not hungry, so it's cool. Plus, food tastes amazing when you're high. Everything's so heightened, so it just tastes even better than it usually does.
So you've brought brownies here today.
Bob: Yeah, they're proper dank—they work. It's my mom's recipe.
Do you enjoy smoking cannabis and eating food?
I very much enjoy smoking cannabis and eating food.
What's your favorite food to eat when you're high?
Oh fuck, man. It's gonna be some next sandwich. You get a bit of halloumi, some greens in there, a bit of chicken dippers—anything fried in a sandwich, basically.
Let's say you had $500—what restaurant would you go to when you were stoned?
OK, if I was weng, yeah? WENG. I would go down to Star Kebab in Catford and get myself a kebab and some onion rings. Failing that, I'd go down to Deptford Market. Oh, or a roast dinner—some lamb, some stuffing, some roast potatoes, maybe some grilled leeks, or some beef gravy. Fuck. Maybe some cabbage or some peas.
I see you've got a waffle.
Alex: Yeah. It's really good. It's my favorite thing.
Do you think being stoned makes food better?
Yeah, definitely—one hundred percent.
What's the fanciest thing you've ever eaten while high?
Crepes? Yeah, crepes. With, like, watermelon on them.
Cool. What's your ideal thing to eat while you're high?
Definitely a watermelon.
Just a watermelon? As a meal? Would you dress it with anything?
No, just a watermelon.
And what drink would you pair that with?
Probably just, like, some flavored water.
I see you've brought down some McDonalds. Is that your go-to munch?
Jason: That was just a quick easy thing—we just wanted a little bite to eat.
What's your favorite thing to eat when you're high?
Jason: Yeah, yeah—I say chicken.
And do you remember the absolute best thing you've ever eaten stoned?
Jason: I think probably an ice cream or something like that.
Rebecca: Yeah, ice cream.
How come you're here today?
Apple: Just to help spread the message and have a good time. It's such a fucking perfect day—the sun's out, we're out. I'm ready, man!
I see you brought some Hobnobs and Ribena. Did a lot of thought go into those snacks?
They're some ghetto picnic snacks for the day—I'm gonna be hungry at some point.
Why Ribena, specifically?
Dry mouth—what else, man? You want some?
Follow Jake on Twitter.