An enthusiastic advertiser invites us to an exceptional edibles expo.
I’ve attended a few conventions at the massive Jacob Javits Convention Center on NYC’s west side during my life—the International Car Show once, and a few Comic-Cons—but never before had I been confronted with such delicious fragrances as I was while entering the International Fancy Food Confection Show last summer. Normally, I’d never have known about this exclusive event (let alone skipped out on work and paid the $60-plus to get into it) had we not been invited by one of the convention’s newest and most unorthodox participants: our friends at Magical Butter.
The Magical Butter machine is an electronic extractor that effortlessly infuses the essence of an herb (any old herb will do, though we prefer cannabis) into butter or oil for use in cooking. The device is as simple as it is ingenious: similar in design to an electric water kettle, you simply put your butter or oil and your plant material into the pitcher, set your temp and push the button. And just like that, within two hours you have perfectly potent canna-butter, tincture or even lotion.
The company’s mastermind and CEO Garyn Angel met us in the center lobby wearing his signature promotional attire: a green, stoned-smiley tee under a blazer and a fuzzy green troll wig. He handed us a few of their employee passes to get us in, but we were made by security and had to walk down to another entrance door to pull it off. The sights and smells of 80 countries’ culinary curiousities were on display—with vendors feverishly giving demos, handing out samples and taking orders. Cookies, candies, cheeses, nuts, liquors, sauces…there was even a booth that had cocktails inside tiny breath spray bottles so you could get a buzz without having to drink. It was a truly sensational smorgasbord.
When we reached Magical Butter’s booth, Garyn was eager to show off his custom-designed green VW style mini-bus, equipped with a full sound system. He even acted out a rap performance of their promo song worthy of a Justin Timberlake sketch on SNL. While a couple of their neighbors seemed a bit put off by their outlandish style and rather overt stoner references, the majority of their co-conventioneers were at least curious if not outright amused by the colorful crew and their innovative appliance.
After a brief interview and a few vapor pen rips, I was off to explore the rest of the expo. It was the last day of the convention, and as closing time approached the booths were beginning to break down—and were giving away or dumping the majority of their stock. Frantically, I began trolling the aisles looking for as many fancy freebies as I could snag. Natural organic peanut butter, Mexican hot chocolate, imported asiago cheese, Stubbs barbeque sauce, gourmet hot fudge sauce, even chocolate covered hemp seeds … I acquired all sorts of gourmet goodies. Within minutes I’d quickly filled a large plastic trash bag and was starting on a second, when the bag suddenly broke and spilled my entire haul out across the carpet. I managed to pull it all together and, deciding it was high time to go, headed for the exit.
Ironically, security was now trying to stop us from leaving: it seems convention rules stated that no one was allowed to bring merchandise outside the expo—an absurdly wasteful policy, considering the only alternative was for vendors to throw hundreds if not thousands of dollars of perfectly good food into the garbage. I lingered nonchalantly a few yards away from the escalator and waited until the security guard was distracted by someone else leaving with bags, then stealthily slipped past them with my luscious loot. And while none of the tasty treats I brought home were medicated, they were all nonetheless divine.