by David Downs
This week, New York Times food writer Kim Severson outlines a dubious trend of what she dubs "haute stoner cuisine." In it, Anthony Bourdain notes, "Everybody smokes dope after work. ... People you would never imagine.” Shocker. Severson goes on to detail sweet, savory, and rich plates like cereal milk self-serve ice cream in Manhattan, Kogi Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles, and breakfast burrito pizza in Brooklyn. It's sort of interesting, but the macro-trend is more fascinating. "Stoner haute cuisine" may or may not exist, but the entire concept of the "stoner" as this junk food-eating wastrel is a vision with racial overtones because of its "lazy Mexican" origins. Case-in-point: the Spanish slang "marijuana" became cannabis' nom de guerre. The reality is there never was "stoner" food, any more than there is "alcoholic" food" or "junkie" food. Profit, policy, and power determine such societal generalizations. No shocker then that an emerging market of elite taste for the former immigrant's "ditch weed" reads like a trend, and can be sold as one too.