Learn to Pair Beer with Food - The Italian way
Before we begin, I want you to ask yourself something. Perhaps your answer was wine, pasta, football, architecture or flirty guys (as one of my co-workers said outright). I’m almost 100% sure that none of your answers was beer.
A lot of people (myself included) don’t typically think about beer and its relationship with Italy. For some, beer is a drink usually saved for sports games, happy hours after work and raging hours and hours into the night on weekends.
What if I told you that Italians actually drink beer more than you think? What if I told that there’s an Italian beer that’s actually for dinner as opposed to all night ragers? What if I told you there’s an Italian beer that will practically combat all of these things listed above? Well that’s exactly what I’m telling you! Today, we’re going to look at several meal options and pair them with some flavorful Italian beer that’ll have you anxious to try them out!
Salami and Cheese Platter + Viola Red Ale 6.6
“Wait, Wait”, “Hold the phone”, “That can’t be right” are three things that are probably going through your mind right now because you think cheese is supposed to go with wine. Well, I’m here to tell you, this is not necessarily true! In fact, some mature wines have stronger, more potent tastes that may cover up the tastes of the cheeses entirely. The Viola Rossa is a red-ale. Ales are noted for working well gamey meats like salami and stronger cheeses like goat or blue.
For a bit of unexpected kick (spice), add dab of Spicy Brown Mustard or Dijon Mustard.
Grilled Fish, asparagus, fries + Viola Bionda 5.6
Next up, we have a typical 3-part meal including a meat, a vegetable and starch. The Viola Bionda is a light lager. It’s golden color and light taste allows it to be paired with many familiar favorites but the focus of this particular meal is salt. Now, this is not me giving you permission to overdo it with the salt. (Overdoing salt at any time, in any meal will not turn our well for anyone.)
When choosing your favorite fish, it’s best to use fillets, since they’re already de-boned (I suggest tilapia.) When grilling the fish and asparagus, either over an open flame or in a pan, use olive oil and light salt to season. The idea is to use the lightness of the lager to wash your food down without completely cutting through the saltiness in this dish.
Steak and Pasta + Viola Numerotre 6.9
Finally, here’s your big meal. First of all, with pasta, normally, there should be slightly more pasta than sauce (friends, don’t drown your pasta in sauce!) With any good steak, we’re thinking big, juicy, quality meat that’s heavy on flavor. In this pairing, we’re going for bigger – so more sauce, more spice, more flavor. The Viola Numerotre is a double malt lager. It’s the strongest (alcohol wise) from the other, but has a slight flowery, fruit taste. The idea with thicker pastas and big meats like steak is to find a beer that won’t attempt to mask the taste at all, rather compliment it.
Be sure to mince the garlic for your sauce. When the cloves are too big, it may overpower the sauce. When grilling your steak, I recommend cooking to around medium – in my opinion, cooking any less will leave too much blood when eaten alongside a saucy pasta and cooking any higher will dry out the steak. (Also, using a lot of sauce is OK here! The excess sauce can be soaked up with bread.)
So, like I said, all three of these beers come straight from Italy. The creator Maurizio Arduini started Viola in 2010 after already having experience running a wine business. To keep the “Italian style” and tip a hat to his roots, Viola likes to keep the idea of wine culture in the back of its mind. First off, the beer is sold in 75cl sized bottles, which is the typical size for a bottle of wine. Next, the beer is served in wine glasses. This interesting presentation could surely make some waves and grab the attention of wine and beer drinkers alike.
Cheap beer and bar food are staples of countless pubs around the world. The idea of enjoying a quality beer with a quality meal is foreign to many people but to quote Mr. Arduini, “sometimes inventing unusual combinations can reserve pleasurable surprises.”
Deal this week for China residents Only!
"Keep calm and drink on"