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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beer, Bacon, and Chocolate: What's the fourth food group again?

In the spirit of the awesome guest blogger I had last week, I had to share this amazing post from my great friends, Nick and Rebekah of Kitchen Lab and Design in a Bag . They are two of my favorite people to eat, drink, and talk with, and they know exactly what they're talking about. It's scary sometimes--the conversations I can have with Nick about having an ally in the world of craft beer (other than J of course!) Check out this post and you'll know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Great Beer, Bacon and Chocolate?
One of the great joys of cooking is combining flavors; bringing things that may seem disparate together to create something new, something which might seem at first blush to be a lousy idea can, sometimes, become a new "go-to" staple. The idea of beer and chocolate is basically mainstream at this point, no doubt someone who had enjoyed the wonders of drinking port with dark chocolate, or a fabulous creme brulee with a Sauternes,  brought out some fine chocolate with one of the myriad of fine craft beers created in this country and Voila!! --a star is born. This past weekend we had just such an experience with great friends, following another great, simple meal. The combination was a great American craft beer, Founder's "Nemesis" Wheat Wine , with Vosges Chocolate with Bacon (Mo's Bacon Bar.) 
This really was a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup moment, the beer, for me was really screaming for food, because of the high alcohol and cloying sweetness (which is a problem I have with many "high gravity" beers), too strong and over the top for sipping without food. In this case we took the beer and let it warm to a cellar temperature and had it after dinner, with chocolate.  The first chocolate was fine (it generally is), but didn't really seem to like the beer, or visa-versa. Our friends had brought along a bar of one of the genius Vosges "Bacon-Milk Chocolate" bars. Wham!! a star pairing was born. I can't say enough about the chocolate concoctions created by the team at Vosges (a great Chicago company), that girl Katrina (and her team) are amazing!! Check it out. We love to have a square or two of nice chocolate after dinner, often with wine, but on this night (and more to come) it was the fantastic Founder's Brewing's Nemesis Wheat Wine and Vosges Bacon-Chocolate--oh man give it a try!

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