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RECENTS

Nourishment For The Solventless Soul

Everybody who's seen a piece of cannabis media since Cheech and Chong knows that weed and food go together like wet floors and cracked tailbones; one almost inevitably follows the other. But how many of us actually include hash in our meals, not as an aperitif or infusion, but as an essential complement to highlight the aromas and flavors on the plate along with those in the jar? Last week, some of Chicago's headiest came together for Terps and Tapas, a Spanish-style dinner hosted by Tyler of @Terrapinterpenes, following a series of omakase sushi experiences guided by the same concept. For each course, the dish served was accompanied by a different varietal of Superlative Solventless rosin, which made for an abundant exploration of the senses and how they play off one another.


The Menu (no Ralph Fiennes)

Strottle gang in the building

Course 1: Aperitivo + Lapdance

Bread is always a good place to start, topped with briny olive tapenade and served with Serrano jamon and manchego. The astringent, floral bite of the olives cut through the rich saltiness of the soft, acorn-fed ham, balancing with the cheese's ovine funk. These qualities were echoed in the Lapdance's smell, characterized by rotten banana bread gas and chlorine-soaked candy notes. A freshening hint of lemon verbena and a spark of cinnamon activated the palate upon inhaling a dab, which rushed in with a horse kick to the chest and left a heavy halo effect around the head that had me impersonating a slow loris until the next course.

We know what bread and cheese look like. Here's some hash.

Course 2: Patatas con Aioli + Back to Banana

The second course, a fluffy potato salad loaded with fresh garlic, felt like a palate cleanser, the creamy starch of the potatoes mitigating the intensity of the garlic as it seared away the previous flavors. Again, the paired rosin tugged at common threads between the cultivar and culinary ingredients, with brisk hues of underripe banana, green onion and rubber cement detectable in a dab. Back to Banana was eye-popping in effect, similar to the pungent garlic aioli, and brought on a fluttery sensation that kept energy and appetites abuzz.


Vampire's demise

Course 3: Pollo Al Curry + Zazul

Rather than progressing to more savory fare, the next dish offered a burst of sweetness from the addition of red grapes to a curry chicken salad with roasted cashews. As the third cold course in a row, it mirrored the convention of taking low-temperature dabs and accomplished the same goal: capturing an array of delicate flavors in a light morsel. As such, the Zazul demanded patience and restraint to fully enjoy its sugary dimensions. Hints of Chowards violet candy and Sweetart cupcake frosting frolicked in the nostrils as a blue raspberry and Windex snowcone melted on the taste buds. Strategically timed for the center of the dinner, Zazul induced a second wave of munchies along with an effervescent jollity and smooth-brained, floaty euphoria.


Disco for tastebuds

Course 4: Datiles con Tocino + Rainbow Belts

Sweet profiles remained en vogue, as candied bacon-wrapped dates hit the table next. A pool of red pepper butter sauce added depth and brightness to the succulent dates, elevating the addictive sweet and salty combo with a stroke of maturity. By contrast, the Rainbow Belts rosin was a carnival of Shirley Temples, strawberry syrup, and wax bottle candy terps that gave way to a grounding, body-locking high. After engaging in mindful analysis of the last few plates, I was happy to let go a little and simply enjoy this caramelized fruit and pork delight for its accessibility, and same goes for the corresponding hash.


Forgot to shoot this course 'til I was 2/3 dates in. Occupational hazards.

Course 5: Albondigas + Marshmallow OG

If the bacon-wrapped dates were a crowd-pleaser, the albondigas were a show-stopper. Tender lumps of Wagyu beef cheek and pork slathered in smoky sofrito sauce made for a satisfying unofficial entree, disintegrating in the mouth like chorizo with the tannic quality of a dry red wine. More cubes of manchego contributed just the right amount of salt to the mix. This point in the evening surely brought out the most "ooh"s and "mmm"s from guests around the table, and with good reason. The robustly savory meatballs got an herbal and earthy lift from Superlative's Marshmallow OG, which imparted pinecones, new sneakers, and subterranean cave on the nose with a warm, cotton candy undertone. Even though one final course remained ahead, the weighty sedation dealt by the hash rosin was nearly insurmountable. Yet, dessert (and more dabs) called...


Meatballs and manchego
Good thing these were served later, I'd have eaten ten.

Course 6: Leche Merengada Milkshake + Georgia Runtz

Reminiscent of an horchata, minus the taste of the rice grain, the final course was a quenching iced milk beverage topped with foamed egg whites, along with an alfajor cookie. Anything more substantial would have been excessive, and the smooth-sipping drink capped off a menu full of blended flavors with something simple, familiar, and comforting. Unlike American ice cream parlor milkshakes, which rely on additional flavors and toppings, the leche merengada was pure dairy, unadulterated, providing a clean backdrop for the more involved Georgia Runtz. The rosin had a minty, somewhat sanitary scent and tasted sharp, yet creamy, similar to a passionfruit mochi. Dab number six, my liberator from sheer gluttony, sliced my mind with a katana blade and spread it like schmear on a toasted bagel, while also unexpectedly directing a tingling feeling toward the loins. Check please!


No olvides el postre!

The alternation between lighter and more involved dishes allowed the ingredients and strain genetics to sing loud and clear, and the entire evening served as proof for the hypothesis that those who appreciate the nuances of solventless concentrates might possess a finely-tuned palate across the board. Beyond the terps and the tapas, the company was the most enriching indulgence of all, sitting elbow to elbow with people of different walks of life and bonding over a shared interest. Though conversation was free-flowing throughout the evening, after half a dozen dabs, the chatter fell to a lull, just in time for some Grateful Dead covers by Terrapin Flyer's Josh Olken downstairs from the dining room.

Two musicians playing
Josh Olken, the "Best Fake Jerry"

Rosin jars on a psychedelic tablecloth
Leftovers & gifts

The Hashish Manifesto Hardcover book that is black and white with graphic images and a subtitle: "A critical Lens for informed cannabis consumers"