Sunday, November 20, 2011

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Happy Pizza!!

If you have never been to Cambodia, you may be forgiven for not knowing what "Happy Pizza" is. Happy pizza seems to have been the must-try experience for curious travellers to Cambodia for years. Happy Pizza is merely pizza laced with the token drug of the 70's - marijuana, something which is a legal here.  Just to put the record straight from the beginning, I do not condone the use of drugs, nor to a recommend making such a pizza if good ol' mary jane is illegal in your state/country.  I am merely a traveller wishing to try a new experience which I am sharing. And since a few people have asked about it, here goes.

I initially did a bit of online research and found a place recommended called "Happy Special Pizza".  It's a bit down the road from the old markets in the French Quarter on Siem Reap.  There is a string of three Happy Pizza restaurants, Happy Herb Pizza, Happy Special Pizza, and Ecstatic Pizza.   Happy Herb Pizza and Ecstatic Pizza were both not recommended through online posts though Happy Herb was recommended in Lonely Planet.  All the happy pizza establishment are quite small and individually would be easy to miss so its a good thing they are clumped together!  My choice, Happy Special Pizza, is the restaurant closest to the old markets, has a square white sign out the front with, what looks to be, a dazed blue sun. It is located around the corner from pub street (the main pub/club street in SR).  For a bit more info on them check out their website here.

While doing some online research I also came across chatter about 2-3 years old about a Cambodian government crack down on the practice, but there are three restaurants down this strip alone so I guess that may have just been all huff and no puff, if you know what I mean!

On the menu there are a range of pizza's which while not being of gourmet quality are quite reasonable, though maybe a little more expensive than other meals (in my opinion) here in Siem Reap.  While it is not specifically on the menu, when ordering a pizza you order with "no happy", "a little happy", "happy", "extra happy".  I ordered just a regular happy pizza in the flavour of foccacia (tomato paste, italian sausage, green bell peppers/capsicum mozzarella, blue cheese and black olives. Oh, and happy).   

When the pizza came out I was unsure as to how generous they were with the happy herb, but it seemed to be quite a healthy dose.  The pizza as meal itself was fine. You can't really knock a four buck pizza!! The toppings were generous and the ingredients were quite good.  

The method of creating the happy pizza seems to be pretty simple. A layer of dried finely ground marijuana is placed on the pizza, under the cheese before cooking.  If you are interested in creating such a pizza, below is a recipe I found online here.

Happy (Weed) Pizza

(This recipe was originally adapted  from
1 ounce cannabis
1 pizza, oven-ready
1 cup mozzarella
Using a coffee grinder, food processor or similar device, grind cannabis into a fine powder. Spread cannabis evenly over pizza by sprinkling gently; then follow with the mozzarella. Instead of adhering strictly to the recommended pizza-baking directions, carefully cook the pizza for two or three minutes longer than stated at 25 degrees below the recommended temperature.
Update: In the comments, ChiefHDB mentions cooking the weed in some sort of oil or fat to release the THC. This thread on touches on the concept, and posits that the oil from the melted cheese is being used as the vehicle to absorb the chemical.

My Happy Pizza!

There you have it.

The initial effects of the pizza were nothing to write home about, even if I did only have the small pizza.  It was nice to try though and it isn't exactly unpleasant. :)  The pizza taste is definitely not enhanced may the addition topping, though I don't think thats the point, really.  Having said that, I bet dessert will taste AMAZING!!! The effects are suppose to take a while to kick in so I might need to write an update about the effects tomorrow... they are definitely starting to hit.

In all seriousness, I wrote this while eating it and afterwards so it couldn't have been that severe...could it?

Extra happy next time, perhaps?

Twitter: TheDanFactor

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