TASTEbud: Serious Cannabis Pastries For Orange County (An Early 4/20 Special)

canna-butter chocolate.jpg
Javier Cabral
Tastebud uses 1/2 Canna-Butter and half regular butter for their fudge-y brownies
April 20th is a national holiday to many. Hell, to some of my homies, it's bigger than Christmas! On this day, the world's counterculture gather and pay a hazy homage to cannabis, yesca, herb, pot, bud, ganja or whatever the latest slang name might be. It's celebrated by smoking it, vaporizing it, drinking it and... eating it. For this year's 4/20, your trusty, hard-working OC Weekly intern went out on the field and participated in some intense immersion reporting.

I met up with some chef friends of mine who happened to be one of the leading suppliers of medicated edibles in Los Angeles. They actually just rented out an industrial kitchen out in Anaheim; thus, my obligatory duty to report on this!

Naranjeros: welcome to TASTEbud.

They opted to keep their identities secret for this piece, but they have allowed me put up a link to their website for all you dispensary types out there. The team is actually a couple, and they are definitely not new to the food world.

An alumna from two prestigious cooking academies, she is the baker of the team. And he... well, he's definitely not unknown in the small world of LA chefs. He handles most of the business stuff. They have been working steadily at this for two-and-a-half years; now, they sell upwards of 100 chocolate bars, 50 bags of caramel popcorn and 50-80 brownies a week. None of them, of course, half-baked.

Everything is Made From Scrath at Tastebud
Javier Cabral
Everything is made from scratch at TASTEbud

Their extensive fine-dining restaurant upbringing has resulted in doing everything they make exclusively from scratch, starting with their basic compound butter they use for the baked goods. Unsalted butter goes hand-in-hand with THC, as the latter is fat-soluble. For this, he uses some stuff he gets from up north, B-Grade buds with minimum stig and almost no sun leaf. He refuses to use the byproduct of a bunch of low-quality stuff known as shake that most other bakers use.

"We don't do it for the money; we take pride in every single piece," says the baker of the team. "All TASTEbud products are always made from scratch, and with love." 

These guys seriously don't mess around with the quality of their ingredients.

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Javier Cabral
Guittard Chocolate for their brownies

For their brownies, they use half canna-butter and half regular butter, for a total of a quarter-pound of butter per chocolate brick. A pretty bold ration when it comes to medicated pastries, so they recommend only eating half of one, max. They use the good stuff when it comes to chocolate as well--nothing but NorCal's own E. Guittard.

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Javier Cabral
They only use the "Mushroom" variety of popping corn for their salty caramel popcorn
Only the "Mushroom" variety of popping corn is used, a unique variety that pops into a near perfect sphere almost every time. All the more perfect for the caramelized special butter to adhere to.

I rode along during a typical production day with them, a weekday from 11 in the morning until midnight. Their order list for the day included brownies, salty caramel popcorn, chocolate chunk cookies and and mini-banana muffins.

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Javier Cabral
Extra-Chunky Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Notice the uniform, near-perfect placement of the cookies? This ain't Nice Dreams.

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Javier Cabral
Pouring cannabis-infused grapeseed oil for mini-banana bread muffins

They don't just use butter for their products; they also use cannabis oils for items that call for oil, like their banana bread muffin recipe. TASTEbud also does whole cakes, peanut butter cups, dark chocolate bars, and granola and raspberry bars, and they are working on releasing a coconut-flavored ice cream for the summer as well.

TASTEbud's customers have grown to recognize their products by a special symbol found on all the products (found at left). Just as in the conventional food industry, reliability and consistency are really hard to find in a product, but their customers don't keep coming back for nothing...

They are interested in rotating their quality baked goods across Orange County. You must place your order (minimum order $100) by Monday 6 p.m. at the latest via phone or text. For more details vist their website at tastebudcali.com.

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Javier, when you apply for jobs in the future, I hope the recruiter doesn't do a Web search on you that yields "Tags: 4/20, Cannabis, Javier Cabral" [as indicated above]as the first result............


There is a new online discount sweeping the country this holiday season, called "Printapons" where a local store is featured every day with huge discount.


I was a little skeptical when I first started reading this article. I quit doing edibles some time ago after my doctor ( a compassionate physician) pointed out that you have no idea how or where these edibles are being made (kitchen cleanliness, food safety guidelines, sanitation). I hate laws and rules and all that, but when it comes to food service/food safety, I'm on board with most health department rules (not all). Whenever someone at a dispensary tries to give or sell me an edible, I ask them what they know about the kitchen where this was made. They usually don't. I've worked in food service for a long time so I understand these things on level I wish I didn't know.After reading this article, I would definitely try these edibles. These people sound like they know what they are doing. I appreciate that they are both academically trained chefs.Thanks for sharing this.

Young John Yellowcake
Young John Yellowcake

We all hate laws and rules and stuff, really, except for edibles, also except for the guys who fly those big airliners, my banker and tax guys, the people at factories putting together my TV, radio, stereo, refrigerator, etc., the mechanics working on -- heck, the workers who manufactured -- my car, etc., etc. Let's cut to the chase: I love laws and rules and stuff for everyone but me, and, unless I'm badly mistaken, I used to know why. I have spoken.

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