Tea and Sugar Shack: Gourmet Pairings
Spring time in Quebec means longer days, softer weather and of course: sugar shacks - an artisanal tradition since the 19th century. With sugar season in full swing, we have created some tea/food pairings for your next sugar shack visit. You can also use these suggestions if you're looking for inspiration when making a homemade menu.
First and foremost, when we think about sugar shack meals, we think of the obvious: pea soup, omelets, maple ham, beans - basically, anything that combines salty and sweet.
It's no surprise that our first suggestion, which we find to be a great fit for these meals, are black teas. With such a wide variety to choose from, firstly, we'd like to suggest an Indian or African full-bodied black tea to pair with any salty/sweet meat dishes such as bacon or cretons. There's also the autumnal Darjeeling Autumnal Jungpana that comes to mind with its spicy and woodsy notes. You can also opt for a Rwandan Rukeri which offers a malted, barley sugar taste.
Staying in the black tea family, we can choose something less round and full-bodied to pair with softer foods such as eggs, beans or pea soup. We'd suggest a Nepalese black tea, such as Nepal autumnal Jun Chiyabari with its rich and gourmet perfume, or a Chinese Jin Die with more of a mocha taste or even the Mi Xiang Hong Cha for it' honey taste which outlines well the sweet side of meals.
When it comes to desert, whether it's a maple syrup pie or a grand pere with maple syrup, we'd like to propose something a bit less obvious. The 2006 aged Chinese Liu Bao whose autumn, "fallen leaves" perfume complements well the thawing season scents as its sweet, syrup flavour will definitely take you by surprise. A match made in heaven! If you prefer pecan pie, we'd definitely suggest a Wulong with roasted notes such as the Bai Rui Xiang.
As a final digestive for your feast, we can't think of anything better than a stronger Pu Er Shou, with hints of hummus, nuts and earth - a 2011 Menghai.
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