Wednesday, 18 March 2009

More Beer & Food

The Lemon Tart Problem!

Next week I'm doing a Beer & Food Matching evening at a local pub. We are running the event as a Dinner Party tasting, with small samples of food from each course paired with appropriate beers. Oysters, Thai Prawns, Pork Belly, Chocolate Pud & Lemon Tart, all sound good to me, but I have been struggling to find the right match for the Lemon Tart. It is going to be quite a tart Tart, so I was worried that a citrussy wheat beer wouldn't be sweet enough for it, and decided I needed to experiment.

Last night I sat down with a Lemon Tart and a number of fine beers to try and pick a winner. I know it's a tough job but someone has to do it. Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Delirium Tremens, Jaipur IPA, Vedett Extra White, Blue Moon and Sam Smith's Cherry were the selected beers, an eclectic selection I know you'll agree.

The first thing to say, is that the tart was delicious! Nice crumbly, buttery pastry and a smooth tasty filling with plenty of real fresh lemon flavour and tiny little pieces of tasty zest. I always try to find beers that are sweeter than the dessert or they will just taste too bitter, which is exactly what happened with the Jaipur and Delirium. Fine beers though they undoubtedly are, they weren't what I was looking for. I always think of Blue Moon as being very orangey and I'm not really a fan, but it was OK with the tart, not a perfect match, but the citrus flavours were good together and it wasn't too bitter either. A possible. Cherry beer was just wrong, the lemons and cherries didn't get along, and it was quickly put to one side. Vedett Extra White came next, and I was expecting it to be too dry a taste. How wrong could I be, a really good match, the Lemon Tart brought more citrus out of the beer, and there was the right amount of sweetness, they really danced together on my taste buds and did everything you hope for from a great food match, enhancing both the drink and food. Brilliant. Finally I tasted the Cantillon, a sour lambic raspberry beer. It had been a while since I've had one and I wondered if the sourness of the lambic was going to be too sour for the lemon in the tart. It most certainly was, wiping out all other flavours with a big, fat smack in the mouth. I really want to have a better appreciation of lambic, but i do just find them too sour to enjoy. Maybe I haven't tried them with the right food or in the correct environment (?), but I always find them really hard to finish and wondering why I other people enjoy them.

So, it's Lemon tart and Vedett Extra White at the tasting... problem solved!

Happy Adventuring!

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on the lambic thing. I'm figuring that one day I'll have a moment when I'm like, "*That's* what it's all about!"

    Lemon tart is a tricky one. BrewDog Storm with it is still one of my best ever pairings but it's such a challenging beer that it might put people off for a beer and food night.

    Sounds like a fun experiment you had there!