Gourmet cooking has a new celebrity ingredient: cannabis! Because of its extraordinary health benefits and potential to treat certain diseases, cannabis is increasingly being referred to as a “superfood.”
Foodies and other dietary enthusiasts have long-identified certain fruits, grains, and veggies as so-called “superfoods” due to their particular nutrient density or unique health properties.
The Macmillan Dictionary defines ‘superfood’ as a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions. The Oxford Dictionary definition states a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being”.
Marijuana laws are changing the face of the nation when it comes to ganja — there are currently only 11 states in the US that outright prohibit cannabis. And studies overwhelmingly show the medical and psychological benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD oil — from healing the brain after a traumatic injury to fueling creativity.
Now, marijuana is about to break into that celebrity status of the “superfood” ingredient in many new gourmet dishes. In fact, it’s verging on it-ingredient status (move ova’, matcha!).
And that’s what’s making ganja the new gourmet ingredient for top chefs around the U.S.
The new cookbook Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis, created by Matt Gray (the founder of online cannabis community The Stoner’s Cookbook), features 200-pages of beautifully photographed and sophisticated recipes crafted by pro chefs Melissa Parks (a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu) and Laurie Holt (who trained at the Culinary Institute of America).
Chefs like Parks and Holt weighed in on cooking with weed, and reported only positive and intriguing results.
Laurie Holt: When I lived in Vermont, I made lots of brownies and the usual cannabis fare. After moving to Portland and getting my medical card I started making savory foods with cannabis; soups and chili with infused cornbread and some fancy appetizers with puff pastry. I began to realize that I needed to treat cannabis as an herb, working with the flavor at times and disguising the taste for other foods.
Laurie also has some advice for amateur gourmet chefs looking to test their chops on a few gourmet ganja recipes: find a few folks to share tasting duty with you!
LH: Don’t let the cannabis burn, don’t make your infusion too strong, and taste it before you make a big portion! Moderation is key. Tasting is something that took a while to figure out—too many tests and I end up in bed!