Over my birthday weekend, the program I was studying with in Milan took us to Parma for a Culture/Cuisine Trip where we toured the Parmigiano Reggiano factory and watch the magic unfold. I bought a solid 5 lbs. of cheese but the only thing that was missing was a good tart sour ale like Jolly Pumpkin Perseguidor, Rodenbach Grand Cru or perhaps an impy like Victory Storm King Imperial Stout. Here’s a quick run through of the process that goes into parmesan cheese:
The head cheese of the Parmagiano Reggiano factory, separating extra whey to be fed to the piggies.
Skimming the cheese with a wooden rod to check consistency.
Bagging the cheese in cloth to drain before being pressed into the molds.
Brine bath where the proteins and little fat basically cure and harden until aging begins.
Cheese cheeeese gloriousss cheeeeeeseeeeee!!!
I stumbled upon this great little snack while packing for a hiking trip and wanted something to celebrate, imbibe and munch on at the summit. Thus, the beautiful pairing of the sour ale Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne and salty cashews. The aroma reminded me of rotting trash and at first sip so did the flavor.
Further sips revealed sour cherries, dark fruits, apricot and vanilla. Incredibly smooth on the palate, absolutely no kick at the end. Much too sweet for me, almost could be considered a dessert beer in the same vein as dessert wines. However, the slightly sweet/nutty and super salty character of the cashews really made this a refreshing snack after a long sweaty hike.
The other night I had the orgasmically delicious Rochefort Trappistes 10 and I just happened to be nibbling on candied orange peels covered in dark chocolate. May I venture this to be the best combination especially for that time of the month. The aroma is boozy dried apricots/juicy prune and the mouthfeel is so smooth on the palate that the 11.35 abv is dangerously well-hidden. The dark fruity notes of this beer play exquisitely well off the sweet, bitter and citrusy nature of the candy. I would also recommend a sour ale, perhaps the Flemish Red Duchess de Bourgogne as an alternative.