The New York Times just published their latest wide-eyed marijuana update, this time diving into the world of cannabis cooking:
In Colorado, which has issued more than 160 edible marijuana licenses, skilled line cooks are leaving respected restaurants to take more lucrative jobs infusing cannabis into food and drinks. In Washington, one of four states that allow recreational marijuana sales, a large cannabis bakery dedicated to affluent customers with good palates will soon open in Seattle.
The Times is a little late to this super chill party—cooking with weed has been a Certified New Trend for a while now, long before Jeffrey Steingarten wrote about it for Vogue ("and then came the bhang") back in September.
The Times reports that there are two main obstacles in play for would-be cannabis chefs: that it's difficult to control how high people will get, and that it tastes like shit.
Dosing is easier to control in batter-based dishes or chocolate, where the drug can be distributed more evenly. In savory applications, dosing is trickier. A cook might be able to make sure a tablespoon of lime-cilantro butter has 10 milligrams of THC, but will the guest eat exactly that amount?
Cooks who work with cannabis are apt to compare it to cooking with wine or spirits. But opponents counter that a bottle of young red wine brings an important flavor component to a dish like beef bourguignon. In cannabis cookery, the point is usually to mask the taste.
Edibles are strong, and since they take a while to kick in, people tend to overdo it. I'm imagining fancy dinners gone terrifying, one couple twitching in the corner, the birthday girl taking everyone aside to ask if they're mad at her.
"Cooking with marijuana requires a scientist's touch to draw out and control the cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which alter one's mood and physical sensations," the Times notes. "Cannabis cooking will hit the mainstream, [cookbook author Michael Ruhlman] said, only 'when you can give it to someone and not make them a complete idiot.'"
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