Denver just saw its first snowfall, and the Rockies aren't playing baseball. In other words, October has arrived, and holidays are headed our way.
Halloween and Thanksgiving, two holidays made for fun and pure gluttony, are much more appropriate for the cannabis crowd than are Christmas and New Year's, if you think about it. Less pressure, more food — and plenty of opportunities to make a pipe.
The fall harvest season brings a wide array of fruits and vegetables that work just fine for a toker in need. Sure, you can stick with an apple — but why not venture out a little? Turns out, a butternut squash makes a good smoking device, one that can even stand up like a bong, thanks to its round base. Cantaloupes, eggplants, pears, zucchinis and chiles can all become pipes using similar technique. Remove any stems in the way, create a chamber and mouthpiece with some sort of skewer, and voila!
And as with everything else on Halloween and Thanksgiving, the bigger, the better.
Creating a pipe out of various fruits and vegetables isn't hard; it's the smoking part that can be difficult. After spending a recent afternoon turning eight fall fruits and vegetables into smoking devices, we've ranked them for ease of construction and user-friendliness.
Cheap, trustworthy and easy to find. It doesn't matter if you're putting a mealy, disgusting Red Delicious out of its misery or giving a bittersweet end to a juicy Braeburn, they all work the same. Apples are a go-to for toking on vacation or on the road, and just about every market, hotel and convenience store carries them. Appreciate the apple, for it never leaves...no matter the season.
Gourds make fine decorations and meals, but the right shape and size can also make a fine piece. Our favorite was the butternut squash, with a round base creating a bong-like structure that provided some of the largest hits of the bunch. If you've ever wanted to smoke pot like pilgrim, this is the way to go.
Don't let some small, earnest zucchini fool you into settling. If you want to rip it like a champ, then go big or go home. The meat of zucchinis is soft and easy to bore through, and the shape makes for a natural steamroller. Have a bunch of mid-grade weed and want to spice things up? As much as we hate wasting food, zucchinis work a helluva lot better than a Pringles can.
Too delicious to waste on a pipe, in our opinion — but that doesn't mean it won't work. Cantaloupes can get too soft as they ripen, but if you find a younger, firmer one, creating a pipe is easy, and the fruit's lack of pulp makes for easy suction.
Pears are delicious and a great gift at Christmas time, but they're just an apple's lumpy, hard cousin when you're making pipes. The skin and meat of the fruit is a little too firm and tends to crack, limiting the suction and size of the bowl-piece, but it'll still work as a one-hitter in a pinch. If you have other options, though, it's better left in the fridge.
A surprise contender and extremely easy to make a pipe from. Eggplants are firm enough to bore through and come in groovy shapes and colors for smoking. The flavor is a little bitter, though, and the vegetable's pulp tends to clog the mouthpiece.
Potatoes are a little starchy, but their dense structure and oval shape still make for a serviceable pipe. Boring through them is a fucking workout, though, and sometimes you can push too hard with your skewer, breaking the vegetable in half. Sweet potatos are even firmer than regular potatoes, and their gnarled ends need to be cut off before you create a mouthpiece. Not the most fun or easiest creation, but it's better to use a spud than foil or a can.
Chiles and Peppers
Chiles are just so...Colorado. Most peppers can be converted into pipes by pulling out the stem and ripping off the end to make a mouthpiece, for a chillum-style chile. Ripping the stem out can be frustrating, and you can easily rip the chile's flesh. The spicy smoke flavor isn't bad, though, and it looks a lot cooler than sucking on a sweet potato.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.