Food and tea (!) pairing

Day two of my Tournée Minérale, aka Dry January in February.

During the week I spend quite some time thinking about what I will prepare in the weekend (when I have more time) and, of course, which wine we will have with it. I enjoy those moments looking for interesting recipes and the wine that will fit with it. I can sincerely call those meals the highlights of my week. And when the food wine pairing really works out, when the chemistry works, when the sum is greater than the parts… then I am profoundly happy! I suppose football fans will experience similarly intense feelings when their team scores against their arch rival, or music fans when they are at a concert of their favorite band. It’s all about having a special moment and sharing it with your loved ones.

But part of what makes me tick, is now off limits for the rest of the month. The first moment you think of how that will be, it seems shockingly frightful. But wouldn’t it be sad to be miserable for a month? Especially for something self-inflicted?!! Of course it would. So… what are the alternatives? The first thing that sprang to mind was tea. Beer would have been an alternative for wine. Unfortunately that’s off limits too. So tea it is! Now, I have to say that tea is most definitely an acquired taste for me. I grew up with everyone drinking coffee around me, so that’s what I do well. My wife is more of a tea drinker, however, so little by little I started appreciating it as well. Now I even enjoy exploring different kinds of tea. Not that I know much about it, but I can appreciate a nice cuppa.

When I started looking for possible food and tea pairings, I found a suggestion to try white tea with pistachios. “That’s nuts”, I thought. All the more reason to try it, I reckoned. Especially since I happened to have both at home, although the white tea was with jasmine. The idea of this pairing is that a white tea, which is naturally a bit sweeter (or should I say less bitter?) than black tea, combines nicely with the salty flavor of the pistachios. And oh my, what a strange but utterly amazing combination! I didn’t quite like the white tea before, because I found it a bit too mellow, too flowery. But the pistachios give this tea a nice punch, almost something spicy. Something this tea needed to go from meh to yum! In the other direction,  the tea gave a more velvety taste to the pistachios, obviously toning down the saltiness.

IMG_1221What can I say?! I was impressed! How two simple things can create such a nice combination. And it definitely opens perspectives for the next few weeks… Excellent!

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