The munchies just got a whole lot sweeter as an Italian gelato parlor starts selling weed-infused ice cream.
Perlecò, a gelato shop in Alassio on the Italian Riviera, is offering customers a flavor called Marley, aptly named after Bob Marley, the reggae musician who was famous for his love of smoking green.
Unfortunately for potheads, the dessert, which is made from shelled hemp seeds, isn’t going to get anyone high — and is in fact, a healthy treat. Aldo De Michelis, Perlecò's manager, explains why he wants to get people hooked on hemp.
Why did you decide to create a weed gelato?
The idea of hemp ice cream was born from my need as a marathon runner. I’m also vegetarian, so I needed a food that could replace meat proteins. For two years now I have been using hemp seed for this purpose. It seemed natural to offer this ice cream to our customers about six months ago.
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Is it legal to sell a weed gelato in Italy?
Obviously, yes. The hemp which is used for the production of our ice cream is obtained from seeds with a minimum amount of active ingredients, like tetrahydrocannabinol, in compliance with the law.
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How does the gelato taste?
The flavor of hemp is a very strong taste; we had to work hard to get the right balance. At first it tastes like peanuts, followed by a grass-like flavor. It’s kind of sweet but salty. We tested it with the addition of other flavors like mint, liquorice and caramel. Soon we will have a base of hemp before adding additional flavors. It’ll be a haven for vegans and for those intolerant to gluten and milk.
Why did you name it Marley?
The name is in honor of the great reggae musician Bob Marley, and more surprisingly, after the dog from the movie “Marley & Me.” It’s because hemp can also be considered man’s best friend, just like the dog Marley.
How have people reacted?
There’s been a great deal of curiosity. This ice cream flavor was much sought after. Some customers were convinced that by eating the ice cream they would get high. However, the best part is actually hemp’s health benefits. Now Perlecò offers many products made from hemp: chocolate, chocolates filled with liqueur hemp, parfait glasses with hemp and more.
- By Daniel Casillas