It is often remarked that, in life, good things come to those who wait: the sweetest joys take time to build, grow and mature. In the world of Hashish, once goodness has been attained, a period of patient curing and aging turns the merely great into truly phenomenal. Aficionado Seeds’ Master Breeder, Mene Gene, created Hash Plant #13 (Indica) x Maui Waui (Sativa-dominant) full-spectrum Hashish more than 5 years ago and today she is a robust and delicious hash-terpiece.
Few have had the pleasure of enjoying hash that has been savored and saved for years. To hear Hash master Frenchy Cannoli tell it, the very best smoking experience is partaking aged Hashish. Though there is no hard evidence that Hashish has been aged from the beginning of its existence, aging is nevertheless a standard practice in Hashish producing countries such as Afghanistan and India, and as close to home as Northern California. According to Frenchy, when he has Gene’s Hashish available, he does not smoke his own. The act of pressing and then aging a large mass of resin at once transforms the Hashish from millions of trichomes to one solid entity of delectable, mind-bending glory. Frenchy waxes poetic, so much so that I must sit up, take notice, and anticipate the oncoming ecstasy.
I have smoked long enough to know there is nothing quite like experiencing something new with the people you love. My husband, our visiting friend from Miami and I make our way to the beach in the City of Alameda. As we arrive, San Francisco Bay unfurls before us, beckoning us to take a short escape from the hustle and bustle of reality. The Santa Cruz Mountains stand proudly in the distance; the top of San Bruno Mountain shrouded in thick, dense, grey fog, as if perpetually high. The water of the bay laps placidly with no care in the world. On this sunny Friday in California, life is nearly perfect.
We choose a shaded area beneath a beautiful tree shaped like a loving grandmother; limbs bowed by the weight of heavy leaves, and yet still standing gracefully and regally. For a pure experience, we use a 3-hole pipe; leaving the Hashish free of muddying flavors. I crack open the custom container from Jyarz, made especially for Frenchy, and I stare at the shiny, eggplant-hued hunk of Hashish as it gleams and tempts. The prevailing attitude in the Hashish industry is that the lightest color is the beauty ideal, but this Hashish, created from plants grown to their full potential, presents like a smeared Tootsie Roll. Dark and textured like tar, she holds secrets soon to be revealed. The ambient aroma that tip-toes up to my nostrils is a combination of cocoa and shea butters; rich, but light. She is not sharing easily, but I am persistent. Short and quick inhales are rewarded with a lingering sweet tropical mixture of banana, pineapple, and old mothballs. There is a whole lot more to her than she readily confesses. Using the tip of my rod, I pull the hash apart, marveling at the taffy-like stretch and pull, when out wafts her essential aroma which reminds me of those maddening crumbly rubber erasers from elementary school. She is a unique mix.
When I take my first hearty hit, I expect the Hashish to slap me immediately with a rush of intense flavor, but she slips unassumingly down my throat. The taste is initially so light that on the next hit, I pull harder, eager for a really good mouthful of thick smoke. This time, a fruit cocktail explodes in my mouth followed by a curious buttery nuttiness that coats my mouth completely. Exhaling adds another creamy layer to the flavor; reminiscent of Nutella. One by one, we puff and pass the pipe. On each exhale our fragrant smoke is carried across the sand and over the water; slowly and reluctantly dissipating. Watching the wisps slide effortlessly into nothingness is mesmerizing.
After two rounds, we quietly shift in the sand and watch the softly lapping bay, saying little to each other. Though we are sitting on the shore of an urban beach, the Hashish transports us to tropical paradise of Hawaii. When we break the silence, it is only to remark how absolutely wonderful we feel. The breeze licks at our faces just right. The birds chirp sweetly, as if heralding fairies to delight us with their charms.
Life itself has become a lover’s gaze; attentive to everything that makes us happy, and amplifying whatever we desire. This experience is a hedonist’s dream.
After 45 minutes of admiring the gentle sway of the reeds on the shoreline and smiling at the joy of just being alive, we pack to head back to Oakland. Dabbing concentrates is all the rage now and I want to experience this Hashish differently. People who are unfamiliar with pressed Hashish often look at it with a puzzled expression and say, “But does it dab?” I want to find out. Once home, I pinch off a small chunk and press it into parchment paper. Almost immediately, the Hashish smooths into a dime-sized patty. After thinning it further with a heated glass hash press, I toss it into the freezer for 10 seconds because a quick chill is sometimes necessary to get sticky Hashish off of parchment paper in one clean pull. I heat my quartz banger, and wait for it to cool appropriately. Few things are as awful as an overly hot dab of Hashish. I too advocate “waste it to taste it,” though my temperature skills are improving daily and it is getting easier to find that sweet spot.
About 30 seconds after getting red-hot, the bucket is ready for the dab and the melts like a dream. Sepia bubbles slide over the hot surface and delicious sweetness slides into my mouth. As expected the flavor is very different. Rather than a dainty fruit cocktail that the pipe afforded, the dab is an electrified mix of spicy pineapple soda, nuts, and pepper sauce. That pungent Hashish fire is there, but it is encased in a dampening bubble; making itself known, but just barely bristling my nose hairs. Instantly, this smoking experience is at once grounding and sublime; leaving me feeling deeply rooted to my position and yet as free as a dandelion head lifted by the wind and carried to far flung, previously unknown destinations. The two extremes make me feel like two separate people sharing one mind consciousness. Trriippy!
Instead of the calm beach experience of earlier, I am really energized and I want to chat, dance, sing, think, smile, and laugh all at once. In my mind, I am again in Hawaii, enjoying a tantalizing hula and I am blissfully enamored with this altered reality. In my body I FEEL like the color orange and in my mind’s eye, I am entranced by the frenetic whip of the dancers’ waists, as if whisking away my mind’s cobwebs. Swish swish, swish…flavors of pineapple and buttery kumquats dance in my mouth gleefully with whispers of oil-laden nuts and chocolate. Tasty!
I am near elated for about 90 more minutes and I drift back down in cushioned comfort; colors still appearing a bit brighter than usual as if experiencing delayed heightened awareness. My mind is clear and I feel vaguely optimistic. Today has been a good day.
Perfection is an unattainable finality whose journey takes time and cannot be rushed. I have seen my own creations get better over the course of months. According to Gene, after 5 years, his Hashish has only improved. I no longer wonder why Frenchy touts Gene’s Hashish as the crème de la crème. It is mysterious, coy, aged, and very much alive. Let’s see how she wears her age in a few years; even sweeter, even more alluring, and a few steps even closer to her prime.
Written by The Dank Duchess
Published in issue 117 Weed World magazine