Could Cannabis Become the Next Food Pairing Phenomenon?

Cannabis food pairings are the newest trend worth exploring. Both go so well together anyway, so why not heighten each meal with complementing flavors...

Much like food and beer culture, cannabis culture is growing in popularity with each day. With this increased popularity has come more ways to utilize cannabis to the consumer’s advantage. A certain trend that’s already ran its course through food, beer and wine has hit the marijuana industry next – pairings. We’ve figured out the best wine to go with seafood and the best microbrew to accompany a burger, so it makes sense that weed would follow suit. Edibles are their own version of cannabis food, but is it possible to marry cannabis and food in other ways?

Thankfully, it is. Marijuana tends to enhance the way foods taste along with other benefits in sapidity. Growers and weed connoisseurs recently began teaming up with chefs in efforts to create palate-pleasing pairings for patients and consumers. Since weed and food pairings aren’t as publicly accepted as with alcohol, chefs often debut pairing menus at private events to medical patients only. There are ways to get creative and experiment with different strains and foods at home. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge on marijuana’s makeup and flavor profiles to make it work.

Terpenes, Terpenes, Terpenes

Patients and the public are learning more about the advantages of terpenes as marijuana research continues to get more advanced. These integral cannabis compounds are not only responsible for some of a strain’s effects, but it also gives strains their scent and flavor. Terpenes also do this in natural foods. Both of these elements are fundamental in making tasteful cannabis and food pairing choices.

Not all of the over 120 known terpenes have obvious distinct flavor effects. Successful cannabis/food pairings pull the strongest flavors from the flower and the fare in accentuating and complementary ways. Beginner users and pairers should lean towards strains with high levels of terpenes to start, since their potency will make the matching process easier.

Aiming for strains with a terpene content of 2 percent to 4 percent will give off the most robust qualities. Sniffing a bit of the flower will help in picking up on these notes. If taking a whiff of a nug isn’t an option, look for identifiers in the strain name. Monikers with obvious hints to flavors, like the citrusy tang of Tangie or the peppery hints of Afghani strains would go with teriyaki chicken and different Italian dishes respectively.


Elevate Your Food and Try These

Next, learning how to get the most punch out of the strains you’ve selected is  important. A marijuana flower vaporizer is best for this because terpenes aren’t burned off the flower like when lit by flame. Adjusting the temperature settings on certain vaporizers can activate different terpenes in a strain, giving you full control of the notes picked up.

The myrcene present in strains like White Widow and Himalayan gold brings an earthy, woodsy flavor to the mix. Myrcene’s relaxing qualities make it perfect to go along an herb-heavy meal, like rosemary scalloped potatoes and pizza. Top it off with a light red wine for a full profile. Herby Purple Kush had with a thick cut of steak and a meaty textured vegetable like mushrooms gives a similar feeling.

Sativa Super Lemon Haze and hybrids Lemon Skunk and OG Kush have potent lemon citrus tastes to them. For a lighter, more energetic meal pair one of these with a white fish and a white wine. The lemon flavors will bring out the most in both.

For dessert, try the sweetness of a tropical fruit sherbet with the floral hints in G13 and LA Confidential, caused by their predominant terpene linalool.

With just a little bit of planning and familiarity, each meal can be more enjoyable. There’s a strain to match all sorts of complex tastes, bold flavor profiles and rich aromas. With a bit of experimenting, no meal would have to be bland anymore, try cannabis food today. 

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