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The Morel of the Story

Published August 10, 2022

Back on July 28th, Beatrix Potter celebrated her 156th birthday. Well, I mean, not above ground. But, you get the picture. In honor of Peter Rabbit’s creator, we obviously ran a round about her other love, mycology. One of the questions asked about “Magic Truffles” in Amsterdam. Let’s take a trip.

Everyone knows about the readily available weed in Amsterdam. Either you’ve been there, you want to go there, or your neighbor went and brought you a fridge magnet shaped like a pot leaf. The city does have a tolerant attitude toward soft drugs — and you can both buy and smoke cannabis and hash in its many, many, many coffee shops — so it’s basically the future all those blacklight posters at Spencer Gifts promised you. 

In addition to the coffee shops (and we’re not talking Starbucks), you’ll also see a number of smart shops throughout the city, and most of them have a giant cartoon mushroom on their signage. The products on offer can vary from shop to shop, but often include herbal versions of some still-illegal party drugs; energy drinks and supplements; vaporizers and other smoking accessories; and magic truffles. 

Yeah: magic truffles. Although magic mushrooms have been illegal in the Netherlands since 2008, the similarly psychedelic truffles are permitted because of a weird legal loophole. (It’s complicated, but because truffles grow underground, they were excluded from the ‘shroom ban. And since we’re already in a parenthetical here, it’s worth noting that these aren’t the same as edible truffles. “Magic” truffles aren’t even truffles at all: they’re technically sclerotia, which are the underground fruiting bodies of mushrooms.) 

Because they’re extracted from the same fungi, magic truffles contain the same mind-altering compounds as magic mushrooms, and the staff at smart shops can explain each particular variety, make dosage suggestions, and even suggest a city park or two where someone may want to go to sample their new purchases. (The intense and over-crowded Van Gogh Museum is not recommended.) 

If you do decide to visit a smart shop during your stay in the city, just be sensible, don’t plan on packing anything remotely “magic” in your suitcase for your return flight to the U.S., and maybe pick up a fridge magnet or two at the airport. You need to hit your neighbor back.

Featured image courtesy of: Janine, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0