Marijuana has long been associated with food, but only in so far as it relates to getting the munchies. Various strains are known to stimulate the appetite, at times leading to a ravenous need to consume pizza and burgers in the midnight hours but that has generally been as far as it’s been taken. As the plant becomes more and more popular now, people are starting to contemplate cooking with cannabis in the same way people cook with wine. Every strain has a variety of subtle flavors and tones that lend themselves nicely to various meals and now chefs and marijuana growers alike are starting to get excited by the idea.
Using Specific Marijuana Strains for Cooking with Cannabis
In Colorado, chefs have been exploring ways to incorporate cooking with cannabis into fine dining experiences. Corey Buck, head of catering for Blackbelly Restaurant in Colorado said “We talk with the (cannabis) grower to understand what traits they saw in the marijuana … whether it’s earthy notes, citrus notes, herbal notes, things that we could play off.” The chefs have been working to pair meals with specific marijuana strain flavors in order to get the most complimentary taste experience. With some experimentation under the belt, the first weed based fine dining experiences have kicked off.
An Exquisite Experience
A recent fine dining meal involved 100 guests who paid $200 each to dine with a citrus-y marijuana strain to go with a salad with apples, dates and bacon, followed by a darker, sweeter strain of pot to be smoked with a main course of slow-roasted pork shoulder in a mole sauce with charred root vegetables and rice. Marijuana-infused chocolate, grated over salted caramel ice cream was consumed for dessert, which was consumed alongside coffee that was infused with non-intoxicating hemp oil. Lighters and glass pieces were decorated alongside dinner, for guests to use. They also had the option to have a professional joint roller (who was set up by the bar) roll a joint for them instead.
Restrictions for Fine Dining with Weed
Marijuana retailers in Colorado are not allowed to sell food, so guests had to purchase a $25 “goodie bag” from a dispensary to consume along with dinner. The bags even contained tiny shavers for guests to use to shave the pot chocolate onto their ice-cream, since it is illegal for the waiters to do it. Diners were even driven to and from the event in a private bus, to prevent anyone from driving home high.
Denver will vote this November on whether marijuana use will be allowed at some bars and restaurants, so long as it isn’t smoked. This would mean creating specifically designated outdoor smoking areas. Should the proposal pass, cooking with cannabis will likely be the newest trend in fine dining. Two of the 5 states that are voting on whether to legalize marijuana this November are California and Maine. These states will allow for the potential of opening marijuana cafes and clubs where fine dining and marijuana may go hand in hand. The advent of this may just lead to a nationwide craze.