6 delicious ways to pair your 4/20 bud with Toronto takeout

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Take your 4/20 celebration to the next level with gourmet food pairings that complement cannabis terpenes

Cannabis connoisseurs know that the most tantalizing way to enjoy some bud is to pair it with food (a.k.a. munchies). And, the way that a bold red wine complements red meat is the same way a spicy sativa can harmonize perfectly with the creaminess of a good cheese. Cannabis can impart a layer of elevated experiences of the senses through its terpenes—oils that give cannabis strains each its own distinct flavour and aroma, such as sweet, woodsy, fruity or floral—that can match or contrast the flavours in your favourite foods.

To ring in the 50th anniversary of 4/20, we pair our favourite dried flower, pre-rolls and edibles from one-stop cannabis shop, Fire & Flower, with gourmet dishes from the city’s best restaurants. Why not make this 4/20 a little extra?

La Palma 

849 Dundas St W, 416-368-4567, lapalmato.myshopify.com

When it comes to preparing vibrant and seasonal food, Craig Harding’s popular Trinity-Bellwoods restaurant does it in spades. Offering crowd-pleasing Californian-Italian cooking such as blood orange and kale salad and ponzu-glazed wood-fired chicken, try pairing earthy myrcene- and caryophyllene-dominant strains like OG Kush with robust tomato-sauce-bathed dishes including the restaurant’s famous 100 layer lasagna or lamb chops, then sit back to experience the strain’s peppery undertones with each hearty bite. 

“We call the lamb ‘Scottadita,’ meaning burnt fingertips in Italian, because the lamb is served so hot—yet so delicious—that you want to grab it with your fingers,” says Sam Medeiros, Sous Chef at La Palma of the Opal Valley Australian lamb. “It’s a beautiful item that’s dusted with a blend of coriander, caraway and cumin, then grilled to medium over Canadian wood and served on top of a tahini-yogurt sauce, and garnished with a house-made preserved lemon gremolata. I’m Greek and have eaten a lot of lamb in my life, and it’s my favourite dish on the menu.”

Cheese Boutique

45 Ripley Ave., 416-762-6292, cheeseboutique.com

A turophile’s heaven with over 500 cheeses in stock, the store has everything you need to assemble a cheese platter to serve with chunks of Legend’s THC-laced premium Belgium milk chocolate. Made with organic fair trade ingredients by award-winning Master Chocolat, the edible’s creamy texture and fruity flavour are best matched with soft ripen goat’s or sheep’s milk cheeses, well-rounded cheddar and aged gouda. If all else, trust maître fromager Afrim Pristine and his team for their expert recommendations. 

Flock

Multiple locations including 97 Harbord St., 647-748-7199, eatflock.com

A haven for those with dietary restrictions, Cory Vitiello’s fast-casual outpost is known for serving juicy, flavourful rotisserie chicken that uses Halal, hormone- and antibiotic-free birds. The menu is also friendly to cannabis pairings. A few puffs of the limonene-rich Super Lemon Haze’s sharp and tangy citrus flavours become more pronounced—and more pleasing—against Flock’s crisp Cardi Full kale Caesar salad; while a drag of tangy and sour Limelight—a mix of terpinolene, caryophyllene, humulene—can cut through the richness of the tarragon buttermilk ranch and hot schmaltz dressed fried chicken sandwich. 

Giulietta

972 College St., 416-964-0606, giu.ca

Perfect for date nights, the refined menu served at Rob Rossi’s acclaimed Italian restaurant features an abundance of options from beautiful burrata that’s served with roasted heirloom beets, flame-licked grilled octopus to a fresh ricotta-and-lemon stuffed pasta that’s tossed with spring peas, guanciale and mint. Whatever you order, be sure to leave room for a slice of torta della nonna that’s wonderful with fresh and slightly earthy Shishkaberry. The indica-dominant strain has a semi-sweet finish upon exhale thanks to lavender-like linalool, a terpene that pairs well with vanilla or caramel-like flavours found in the wildflower honey and toasted pine nut-filled tart.

Maha’s

226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703, mahasbrunch.com

Home of mouth-watering sesame seed-crusted falafel and a three-egg shakshuka with sautéed tomatoes, this east-end kitchen takes taste buds to Cairo without leaving the comforts of home. Wash down tasty mouthfuls of street foods like Pharaoh’s Shrimp Po’ Boy with Everie’s Mint CBD Tea, a mix of spearmint and peppermint that’s a soothing and refreshing contrast to the tasty tomeya (Egyptian garlic mayo) drizzled warm pita that comes loaded with crispy battered baby shrimp. 

Uncle Mikey’s Bodega 

1597 Dundas St. W., 416-537-8973, instagram.com/unclemikeysinc

Having recently transformed his dining room to a bodega, Michael Kim now packs shelves at this Brockton Village favourite with munchies-satisfying instant noodles, Korean chips, and an assortment of banchan. His takeaway menu includes made-to-order goodies like spicy and sweet gochujang-lacquered fried chicken thigh or vegetarian-friendly bindetteok (mungbean pancake) served on rice or sando-style on Martin’s potato roll and crispy ddeokbokki rice cakes. Try them with limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and linalool-dominated Ice Cream Cake, a contrasting combination that just works, thanks to the strain’s indulgent creamy vanilla and sweet lemony cake flavours. 

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