Umami with cannabis: we must follow the example of Thailand

In a country like ours, when the plant is criminalized, it’s hard to imagine an omelet with cannabis leaves, and in general, the idea of ​​a marijuana menu beyond the famous green cupcakes for home use seems like a distant chimera, perhaps accompanied by an awkward chuckle.
However, if a Thai person hears the word “marijuana”, they are much more likely to think of soup than a bong or a “jolly” cigarette. And as of last week, it’s now even more accessible: on January 25, the country became the first in Asia to withdraw. cannabis from the list of drugs.

Stigma to eat

When there is stigma around a social issue that is creating debate and controversy, the first and most important step is to acknowledge it, and if possible. have eaten – Much better.
Opened in 2017, Ban Lao Reung is 2 hours from Bangkok and the first Thai restaurant to offer marijuana in every dish. fry up through different species curry and soup Tom Yam, and tempura-fried cannabis leaves. In this restaurant, the ultimate goal is to improve the final taste, and therefore prepare only with leaves that contain the least amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Side effects include light mood and better sleep.
The Ban Lao Reung facility is owned by a hospital, which makes more sense: it’s the country’s first official medical treatment clinic using cannabis. Accordingly, the restaurant has the legal right to operate under the auspices of a medical facility.

Is THC the new MSG?

IN Thailand cannabis recipes date back to 1908, when the nation’s first cookbook listed the ingredients for “brittle ganja leaves” for eel curry. Andthe use of the plant is much longer and is used in medicines, teas and various types of tinctures. ChCannabis seeds, especially the leaves, contain even more glutamic acid* parmesanknown for its umami taste.
More on acid below, but in short, it gives our tongue the ability to taste more flavors in food. Chewing the leaves alone doesn’t feel any different than dry wheat, but when they’re ground together with the stems and added to food, it’s a game changer, and the umami gets tied up in a towel.

  • photo: Natalia Vaitkevich, Pexels

And let it be light (green).

Thailand did not get here easily or by itself: for many years the possession and use of cannabis has been strongly condemned due to international pressure. In 2019, however, the government changed tactics – Thailand was the first country in Asia to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes, and soon after, in late 2020, parts of the plant with a low THC percentage were declared legal for use in cosmetics and food.

And that’s not all. A few days ago, on January 25, that isIceland’s Drug Enforcement Agency has announced that it is decriminalizing cannabis, allowing the plant to be grown at home (not necessarily for medical purposes) after householders reported it to local authorities. It is a good strategic move by the government to promote cannabis as a crop or in other words: as a cash cow. The more cannabis is planted, the more revenue for the state.

Our country still has a long way to go before we think of a revolutionary step like decriminalizing the factory. There remains one essential step: understanding that cannabis is much more than marijuana or a wink and a wink. And here’s to bringing up what’s regularly thrown up for discussion question – perhaps countries where cannabis is decriminalized (or legalized) often do better with its control than those that strictly condemn its possession.

* Glutamic acid is the main component of monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG. Amino acids enhance the taste-active compounds that give foods umami, the pleasant, “rounded” sensation known as the fifth taste after sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

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