One of the most extraordinary things about cannabis becoming more mainstream is the proliferation of innovation in the community. New recipes, strains, and ways of consumption pop up all of the time, providing exciting experiences for all cannabis consumers.
One of those fun trends is the emergence of cannabis chefs. They create high-end, gourmet dining experiences with cannabis-infused dishes. They’re also adept at pairing strains with foods adopting sommeliers’ principles when pairing wines with dishes.
If you’ve ever asked yourself what strain might pair best with a pumpkin pie or an after-dinner espresso, you’ve journeyed to the right place.
First, the Basics
When people think of pairing food, their brains typically migrate to alcoholic drinks. There are simple methodologies that experts almost always use, some of which you’ve probably heard — red with red meat, white with fish and chicken. While these are tried-and-true tactics, experimenting out of your comfort zone creates surprisingly unique flavors.
The same can be said for pairing certain strains of cannabis with food. Whether infusing your gourmet dishes or smoking in between plates, one rule of thumb is to pair the terpene aroma with the dish’s flavor profile.
The limonene terpene pairs well with crisp, sweet flavors. Myrcene’s musky profile makes it a perfect complement to savory dishes. Caryophyllene is found in black pepper, cloves, and oregano and goes well with hearty pasta. Linalool’s light profile makes it an excellent accompaniment for dessert.
It’s also fun to experiment! Research the different terpene profiles in your favorite strains and try to pair them to balance instead of complement. Just like bacon ice cream (yes, it exists, and yes, it’s delicious), unique pairings offer incredible results.
Here are some fun pairings and strains to get you started on your journey. Happy eating!
Appetizer: Cheese Plate paired with Kushberry
Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate to whet the palate? The number of flavorful cheeses is almost as much as the number of cannabis strains to pair them with. For this five-course meal, we’re suggesting a smoked Manchego paired with Kushberry. The sweet blueberry of the cannabis plays well with the cheese’s inherent smokiness, creating quite the pair!
Salad: Caesar Salad paired with Early Lemon Berry
A crisp Caesar salad does best with limonene’s sharpness. The lemon in the Caesar dressing and the Early Lemon Berry strain play off each other nicely.
Main Course: Porkchops paired with OG Kush
OG Kush is dominant in caryophyllene, giving it its earthy musk and making it a perfect complement to a hearty pork chop. For a vegetarian option, swap out the meat for a pasta dish with a robust tomato sauce.
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie paired with Scout Breath
The spicy cinnamon notes from the myrcene in Scout Breath make it a perfect pairing for everyone’s favorite fall dessert, pumpkin pie.
After-Dinner: Espresso paired with Vanilla Kush
An after-dinner espresso is one of the best ways to top off your dinner. Some opt for an aperitif, but the digestive benefits of espresso or coffee are worth the opt-in. A logical companion to any coffee drink is something with vanilla hints, a role the linalool-rich strain Vanilla Kush fits perfectly.
The most important thing to remember when you pair anything — wines, foods, cannabis, whiskeys, and so on — is to experiment! Getting out of your comfort zone is half the fun.