“Giggling bread” and “joyfully dancing salad” are not the usual meals served in Thailand. But one eatery is hoping its foods made with parts of the cannabis plant can interest foreign visitors.
The restaurant at a hospital in Prachin Buri province started serving the meals this month. Thailand recently took cannabis off its list of narcotic drugs. The government then permitted some businesses to grow the plant.
Pakakrong Kwankao is the project leader at the hospital. She told the Reuters news service, “Cannabis leaves, when put in the food or even a small amount ... it will help the patient to recover faster.”
She added, “The cannabis leaf can improve appetite and make people sleep well, and also be in a good mood.”
The hospital is known as being the first in Thailand to study marijuana and its ability to ease pain and extreme tiredness.
Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2017. Since then, many medical marijuana centers have opened across the country.
The restaurant’s offerings include a happy pork soup and deep-fried bread topped with pork and a marijuana leaf. Another is a mix of crispy cannabis leaves served with pork and vegetables.
“I’ve never taken cannabis before, it feels weird but it’s delicious,” said Ketsirin Boonsiri, one person who ate at the restaurant.
Another, Nattanon Naranan, said the taste of the cannabis leaves was similar to some other vegetables. But, she said the after-effects of eating cannabis were very different.
Thai deputy education minister Kanokwan Vilawan said the next step was to offer new versions of famous Thai dishes to appeal to people across the world.
“We plan to add more (cannabis) to Thai dishes that are already well known, such as green curry soup, to boost the popularity of these dishes even more,” Kanokwan said.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Juarawee Kittisilpa reported on this story for the Associated Press. Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Words in This Story
appetite – n. a physical desire for food
delicious – adj. very pleasant to taste
giggling – v. laughing in a nervous or childlike way
narcotic – n. a drug such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana that affects the brain and that is usually dangerous and illegal
mood – n. an emotional state of mind or feeling
weird – adj. unusual or strange