A delicious ice cream can change Italians' attitude towards cannabis. At least, that is what enthusiasts from a small parlor Perleco hope for.
Their new gelato has come with a new flavor of cannabis. It is named after a famous reggae singer Bob Marley and the parlor owners hope that their gelato will be as popular as Marley's music.
The parlor Perleco is situated in a small town Alassio on the northwestern coast of Italy. The place may not be the most famous among tourists, but it has all the chances to attract new visitors now when it has a special thing to offer. The marijuana-infused ice cream Marley is a new dainty that can be interesting to everyone, even to those who are against any drug use. The thing is, Marley ice cream contains minimal (and legal) quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol out of shelled hemp seeds, and even if you eat a dozen of gelatos, you will not get “high".
The creator of the flavor is Aldo De Michelis, who runs his business together with his wife Emanuela Baudana and their son Mauro. De Michelis' idea was to save the intense flavor of cannabis but to make is sweeter. As a result, Marley ice cream first tastes like nuts and cannabis comes as the aftertaste. It took De Michelis one month to find this unique combination and to make a perfect recipe for the new ice cream.
The result turned out to be so good, that the parlor owner now thinks of making a whole new line of cannabis-infused edibles, including ganache and chocolate bars. Though, again, De Michelis wants to abide by the law, so all the marijuana-infused desserts will contain so little cannabis, that it would be just for the sake of flavor experience.
The idea of making a new flavor of ice cream did not come out of the blue. De Michelis is fond of running, and is often competing in marathons. This kind of activity requires a lot of energy, and since De Michelis is a vegetarian, he needs food rich in protein to compensate for the absence of meat. And marijuana is this kind of food.
First, he tried extra-virgin cannabis oil, then tried some other similar products; there is a limited choice of cannabis-infused edibles in Italy. So, De Michelis decided to help the situation. He decided to create something that would be not only sweet and tasty but also healthy.
While for some states in the U.S. marijuana-infused ice cream is something that can be easily found in a dispensary, for Italy, a country strongly influenced by Catholicism, cannabis consuming is a complicated issue. You cannot use marijuana for recreational purposes, but medical marijuana is officially allowed(if you have a prescription) since 2013. In most cases, legal marijuana is ten times more expensive than the one you can buy illegally on the street.
Aldo De Michelis hopes that his new flavor ice cream can cause a stir and make people think about changing the situation. And he gets the point.
Once De Michelis announced the new flavor, they started to receive up to ten phone calls a day. Of course, some people thought that it would be a cheap and legal way to get high, but most were just curious and really enthusiastic. This is why the parlor owner patiently explains the nutritional benefits of weed. He believes, that cannabis has such a great potential that it can be used in Italy for different purposes.
Until the 1960s, Italy was one of the biggest marijuana producers in the world. But then cannabis was stigmatized and linked to other recreational drugs that are mostly not natural and much more dangerous. A cannabis advocacy group Canapa Ligure hopes that initiatives like Marley ice cream can help people look at marijuana from a different point of view and to see the medical and nutritional side of this plant.
So, next time you are visiting Europe, do not forget to visit a small Italian town Alassio which can charm you not only with a beautiful nature and welcoming people but also with an exclusive ice cream that will give you a nice Italian experience.