The Emerald Pot Pairing, held Saturday at a Humboldt County farm, showcased food, wine, beer, cider and cannabis from Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties in a convivial, country-chic atmosphere accented by dabs, tincture-spiked cocktails and a bluegrass band. In short, a perfect day for about 100 locals and visitors to mix, mingle and compare notes about the food, drinks and weed that The Emerald Magazine matched up for its second annual event.
For $75, guests received, among other swag, a glass chillum pipe and a Bic lighter. Fourteen stations of food, beverages and cannabis were set out on tables under a large tent ringed by an equal number of vendors. Attendees helped themselves to the paired components — more of a trioing than a pairing, really, as the combinations of food-drink-weed were curated to complement, no matter the order by which you consumed them.
My first trioing was dessert-first: a super-sweet CBD-infused petit four, a sip of Mendocino merlot and a bowl of Girl Scout cookies. Merlot, usually, too thin for my tastes, turned thick and jammy against the sugary cake bite. A sweet toke let it all linger.
The meatiest combination was barbecued pork with habanero-mango Humboldt Hot Sauce, Mad River porter and Blue Fire OG by Mendocino Generation. The sauced meat struck a match in the mouth. The rich beer’s sweet notes cooled the palate. The weed stoked the remaining embers of flavor.
In a simpler, more sublime combination, Humboldt’s Wrangletown cider danced dry and bright over Humboldt apples and goat cheese and a not-too-sweet Bubble Gum from Humboldt grower Kiskanu.
Meantime, there were dab stations, vendor booths and cooking demonstrations. Jeff the 420 Chef demonstrated a recipe from his cookbook– the simple and simply stunning cannabis-infused apple rosette pastry. Chef Eric Shevchenko’s Russian Rabbit Sashslik — a locally raised rabbit kebab, of sorts — was supposed to be paired with Melissa Etheridge’s cannabis-infused wine but the wine was a no-show.
Events such as Emerald Magazine’s Pot Pairing are trending in California — in Humboldt, Mendocino, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We need more of them, for locals and tourists alike.