Thursday, 20 November 2008

Stinky cheese and old ale

It's only relatively recently that I've discovered the joy of beer and cheese together. More embarrassingly, I only found out recently what a great combination cheese and onions are; I feel such a fool for having just regarded it as a crisp flavour for so long. Moreover, the combination of a bit of bread, onion, cheese and beer or cider seems like a splendid snack, certainly healthier and arguably more appetising that the crisps and tortilla chips that sometimes seem like such a good idea when you're having a few pots.

It has to be the right beer and cheese, though. Years ago, I was always confused when I read about beer with cheese, because whenever I tried it it was minging. Both the beer and the cheese were perfectly decent on their own, but together they didn't work at all. I was drinking Pilsener with Cheddar, and the moment the two met they created a foul taste.

I don't know why this particular match didn't work, nor why it's taken me so long to discover combinations that do work. One I had tonight was Arran Blue (from some bearded guys at the farmers' market) with a bottle of Marston's Owd Rodger. The beer is sweet and subtly bitter; the cheese is salty and acidic; together they go very well indeed.

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