Tag Archives: cheese

Sampling Sambrook’s & Cheese

30 Nov

Sambrook's 1
One thing I love about food is finding out what different flavour combinations people enjoy. It is for this reason that I am particularly interested in food and alcohol pairings.

Recently, the boy and I headed off south of the river to the Sambrook’s brewery to do just this – sample food and beer matches.
As background, Sambrook’s was started in 2008 by Duncan Sambrook, a former accountant for Deloitte who decided to quit the financial world. It became one of the first breweries in (fairly) central London and recently won the coveted award of World’s Best Pale Bitter for its Wandle brand at the World Beer Awards.

The night the boy and I visited was all about celebrating the win for Wandle and recognising some other great beers that took top honors in this year’s awards. It all took place in the brewery’s Boadicea Bar, a newly opened in-brewery bar where patrons can sample some of the great beers being made on the premises. To make things even more appealing, each beer was matched with a different cheese, provided by specialist cheese monger, Hamish Johnston.

Sambrook's 3And this was where things got really interesting as everyone on my table had a different viewpoint of what worked and what didn’t.

On the night, we sampled the Wandle, paired with a Gorwydd Caerphilly; a Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier with a Wigmore (from Ann Wigmore); a Thornbridge Raven Black IPA paired with a Stichelton from Joe Schneider; a Keersmaeker Kriek with an Ossau-Iraty; and, a Keersmaeker Gueze with a Lanark Blue from Selina and Andrew Cairns.

Each was distinctly different. I loved the Weissbier – a sparky orange, clove and nut beer – paired with the Wigmore, which was an ewe’s milk cheese that was more delicate than a goat’s cheese but with enough backbone to stand up to the beer. My other powerhouse winner of the night was the Thornbridge Raven Black IPA, which was a soothing dark beer with notes of umami, wood and wet grass. When paired with the fantastic Stichelton, a real sweetness emerged on my palate that heightened the beer even more for me.

But, the other five people at my table all had a different opinion. Some preferred the sharper, acidic-sweet note of the Kriek, and others ate up the Wandle and Caerphilly. The boy loved the Keersmaeker Gueze – a Lambic based beer with soft fleshy fruit and citrus notes – paired with the super-sharp, ammonia laden Lanark Blue. I thought the two together was really off putting (although, I liked each separately).

And so, it just goes to show – the only way to find out if you like something is to try it. So, as always, I encourage you to sit down with a group of friends, grab a few varied pints and some cheeses and see what you like. You never know what pleasures you’ll discover!

Thanks to Sambrook’s Brewery for inviting the boy and I down to try some fantastic drinks. For more information on the brewery and its beers, visit: http://www.sambrooksbrewery.co.uk

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Montenegrin munchies

22 Mar

The hangover was bad…the morning heat was near searing, the headache plumb pounding. I needed food and I needed it to be luscious and greasy.

My friends and I had already discovered the joys of Cafe Armonia in our small village of Perast on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro multiple times. For lunch, dinner and a few doses of our new favourite tipple – Amaro Montenegro – Armonia served the goods.

But could this mistress of tasty delights also satisfy the taste buds of a desperate gal in need of fat to soak up the previous night’s toxins?

Saddling up to our favourite table, the boy and I stared vacant-eyed at the menu – the words were in English rather than the local dialect, but we were too hungry to make sense of the muddle.

And then it jumped out: the glorious lines advertising a perfect match for our weary heads.

Its contents: slices of bread dipped in egg and fried, layered with tomato, cheese, more egg and bacon.

Its name: Przenice.

Like zombies we waved to our favourite hostess and, unable to pronounce this beautiful bit of bready goodness, merely pointed and wiped our drool away.

An eternity later – or 10-minutes in non-hangover world – and we were presented with steaming cups of coffee and our prized possession.

The bread was soft and savoury; the cheese crispy and running. The egg danced its way through every layer – the tomato its zingy partner in crime.

A little slice of heaven in an already heavenly locale…and a definite cure for the Montengrin munchies.

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