In a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed earlier reports that she ate a dish featuring “magic mushrooms” while dining at a Yunnan restaurant during her recent visit to China, CNN reported.
While appearing on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front” last Monday, Yellen was asked about the “mushroom experience” that caused a stir on Chinese social media and also increased business for the Yu Zuo Yi Wang restaurant chain where the secretary tried the Yunnan delicacy jian shou qing.
Yellen said she wasn’t aware that the mushrooms in the dish had “hallucinogenic properties” until after she dined there, but said she didn’t experience an impact.
Yellen, who was attending a group dinner, didn’t do the ordering. She told host Erin Burnett that everyone ate the mushroom dish without feeling any ill effects.
The mushroom dish jian shou qing translates to “see hand blue.” Its name is derived from how the inner surface of the mushroom turns blue when pressure is applied, including pressure from slicing it.
The mushrooms are considered poisonous due to their ability to cause hallucinations when not properly cooked.
The Secretary’s dinner caused a stir after a Chinese food blogger posted about the dinner on the Chinese social media platform Weibo
The blogger, Pan Pan Mao, described walking past the Secretary’s table and glancing at the dishes which included grilled fish, pickled Yunan greens with potatoes with cold noodles, and the dish made from hallucinogenic mushrooms.
The restaurant later confirmed the menu, saying on Weibo that Secretary Yellen “loved the mushrooms very much.” The restaurant described the Secretary’s visit as “an extremely magical day.”
Yellen’s magic mushroom experience prompted a viral hashtag on Weibo and became a trending topic with posts garnering more than 6 million views.