Food can have a weird effect on people. Depending on your digestion, a single meal might knock you out for an evening, or have you bouncing around the room, irritating everyone. There’s really no way of telling what might happen until you try it. Usually, however, you can be pretty confident that whatever you’re eating isn’t going to do anything too alarming. As we shall see, this isn’t always the case.
For several reasons, there are certain foods that can be more psychedelic than they are satiating. The symptoms can range from mildly distorting to a full-blown acid trip. Needless to say, if you don’t know what might be coming, dinner can come as quite a shock. Here are a few foods that can actually make you hallucinate.
1. Rye Bread
It might be more fashionable than your standard white sandwich loaf, but rye bread can pack a hidden punch. Occasionally, a rye crop will become contaminated with a fungus known as ergot. The ergot fungus, as described by Bon Apetit, is “known to thrive on rye and...contains chemicals similar to LSD." So powerful is the effect that it is believed by some to be the chief cause of the hysteria surrounding the Salem witch trials.
More associated with nursery rhyming than hard drug use, mulberries are another ingredient that’s full of surprises. If eaten before they are ripe, mulberries can produce powerful, mind altering hallucinations that, according to the author Tom Brown, can cause “shadows to become animated, and colors strange”, as well as induce vomiting and hysterical laughter.
It might be mostly used to take your toast to the next level, but not all honey is created equal. Grown in the mountains of Turkey, the appropriately named “mad honey” has been known to cause everything from mild lightheadedness, to a fully fledged trip. In fact, so potent is the honey that it was once used in battle to befuddle and ultimately defeat an invading Roman army.
Best known for bringing a touch of sophistication to your mac and cheese, nutmeg is an ingredient that can do a whole lot more than spice up your cooking. Thanks to a chemical known as mysticin, large quantities of nutmeg are capable of causing an LSD-like trip that can last up to two days.
The famous Simpsons scene where Homer completely loses his mind after attempting to tackle Chief Wiggum’s ferocious chili con carne might be a joke, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a grain of truth to it. Ultra hot curries have been known to cause some seriously strange effects, with some diners reporting euphoria and disorientation on account of the heat.
Whether or not eating cheese before bed has any effect whatsoever is a subject of some debate. Though many scientists believe it’s nothing more than an urban legend, there too many compelling reports of stilton-induced nightmares and lucid dreams for the food to be ignored from this list.
It might be known for producing some of the tastiest seafood on earth, but the Mediterranean is also home to a highly unusual edible resident. Known in Arabic as the “fish that makes dreams”, sarpa salpa might look fairly nondescript, but its flesh is known to induce powerful psychedelic effects, thanks to the toxic algae that grows on its skin.
Ordinarily, drugs and dinner are unlikely to be the tastiest combination. But, as with anything, there are always going to be exceptions to the rule. As this list proves, hallucination doesn’t have to mean going hungry.