Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tea and Cheese Pairing
Recently, I had the chance to enjoy a Tea and Cheese Pairing conducted by Mim Enck of the East Indies Tea Company. This beautiful arrangement of five tea tasting cups and five spoons with assorted cheeses silently announced the taste treat that was to follow. The first tea, a Lung Ching Dragonwell from China with a sweet note was paired with a mellow and soft Triple Creme cheese. Both the tea and cheese were delicate and complemented each other well. Genmaicha from Japan, a brown rice tea with a toasted and nutty flavor was paired with a homemade feta. This was a nice combination of flavors. Mim noted that Genmaicha is a very versatile tea, and she will often use it as a base for making miso soup, with soba noodles and tofu. Next was a good everyday tea from Africa, Kenya Milima with a delightful sweetness. It was paired with Irish Cheddar, also a light sweet cheese, differing from traditional American cheddar. When combined, the tea and the cheese produced a subtle apricot note. Nutcracker Sweet, a spicy hearty flavored black tea, was enjoyed with a NY State Smoked Gouda, a soft cheese, with hints of smoke. When the tea and cheese were paired, the smokiness of the cheese became enhanced. And finally, an Assam Halmari was enjoyed with a Date & Orange Stilton. The Assam has a sweetness to it which blended well with the almost fruitcake flavor of the Stilton. Absolutely fun and enjoyable!