Monday, 17 August 2009
Beer and food matching
Beer and food matching is a curious mix. No two people’s palates are the same. However there exists a universal food loved by all. That food is known as chips. Chips are great. Not just because they are cheap. They are great anyway. The best chips? Chip shop chips. The humble chippy does the finest chips known to man. Not French fries, not oven chips, not god forbid gastro pub chips that are stacked like a game of jenga. Chip shop chips. Anything else is a poor substitute.
What to have with chips? Well I opted for the steak and kidney pie and gravy. Chip shop gravy is a strange thing. Gravy is the juices of cooked meats, seasoned and reduced and often containing a dash of wine or chopped shallots to add flavour. Chip shop gravy is more of an odd warm brown thick liquid with a vaguely meat flavour despite its ingredients being a slight mystery save for the knowledge that it is not the product of cooked meats, more the product of corn flour, salt, caramel and chemicals. It is also delicious.
So what beer to match with this feast? The wonderful secret about cooking lager is that all cooking lager goes with everything. However I choose Foster’s. I choose Fosters because I have a fridge load of it and Foster’s is fizzy cooking lager heaven. See here. A lightly hopped amber beer that is high on satisfaction and low on challenge.
A feast of angels. A hearty delight, filling and at £2.30, a bargain. Why no mushy peas? The chippy near me does not do proper mushy peas, they do bullet peas in green water, so I give there peas a miss. Otherwise proper mushy peas would be a fine addition to add colour to this dish of kings.
Halfway through my feast I ponder that I have hit upon one of the best gastronomic combinations known to humanity. Cooking lager and chips. To taste it is to fall in love; such is the intrinsic romance of chips.
Chips are the dish you sat on a park bench and shared with your first girlfriend as you gazed into each other eyes, the sizzling of the vinegar on the hot chips being drowned by the sizzling of your heart, as you realized that after the chips you would in all likelihood cop a feel of lady boobs. You’d cast aside the chips now, but your gentlemanly concern must allow the lady of your teenage desires to finish. Ah chips. So many memories, so many times chips have brought a salty and vinegary delight to my life. Chips are life and life is indeed chips. A swig of the lager and a smile comes to my lips. Life without chips is not a life.
Cooking lager and chips and a feel of lady boobs. It’s all a man really needs.