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Food Pairing Attempt: Chocolate Stout with Veggie Burger and Arugula Salad

April 26, 2010

In my vain attempt to test and experience the vast and infinite world of food and beer pairings, I recently tried pairing one of my favorite beers, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, with a typical weeknight meal. Hey, beer isn’t just for getting drunk, right?

Maybe I chose the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout because the beer selection in my fridge was somewhat limited: A homebrewed Belgian tripel, Dogfish Head Midas Touch, Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, A homebrewed amber ale, and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Umm… maybe not so limited after all.

Regardless of my perceived beer problem, I chose the pairing because I knew I had an earthy meal. An arugula based salad with fresh grape tomatoes and an earthy veggie burger on a ciabatta roll. Did the pairing work?

From my perspective, score. The chocolaty, malty, and roasted flavors of the stout (as well as that lovely nutty aftertaste) paired perfectly with the salad. The beers sweetness and nuttiness complements the earthy flavor and the combination of the carbonation and bitterness really cleanse the palate between bites of the salad (dressed with Herbes du Provence) and bites of the veggie burger (also slathered with sriracha and mustard).

Now, I know what you’re saying. “That’s so hoity-toity, Joe. Give it to me in laymen’s terms.”

So here it goes. In the end I trust my own perceptions of what a good pairing is, because honestly, I’m selfish and am trying to end my day with a nice, relaxing, and yummy dinner. What you read above were just the technical reasons behind it. Really, as long as I drink my beer and eat my food and don’t go, “blech” I’ve pretty much got a winner in my book. Plus, the beer takes the edge off my day and really just let’s me wind down, so that I can begin the next one energized and refreshed. (Joe steps off soap box)

So yes. I will continue to experiment with interesting pairings. I call this one a success. Enjoy.

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