some pairings are undisputed classics. wine & cheese. french fries & ketchup. peanut butter & jelly (i actually prefer peanut butter & honey, but you get where i’m going.)
but i have to admit – when i was invited to join a handful of boston food bloggers to a beer & chocolate tasting, i was skeptical. coffee & chocolate? wine & chocolate? those i’ve done, and loved. but beer & chocolate?
this past wednesday, a devoted group of tasters braved the storm to visit equal exchange cafe, trying out four delicious pairings of harpoon beer and fair trade chocolate. if you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that i have no sweet tooth to speak of, so i was a bit worried that the chocolate would prove too rich and sweet for me and would take away from the enjoyment of harpoon beer, one of my favorite local offerings.
not to worry – the four pairings that we tried were delicious, bringing out unique flavors and enhancing both the beer and the chocolate. we took a classic tasting approach, methodically testing and talking through aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel of each chocolate and beer individually before tasting the pairing together. while the smoky and addictive combination of dark caramel chocolate with sea salt and harpoon dark seemed to be the most popular, my favorite pairing was definitely the orange dark chocolate and the limited edition harpoon rye ipa. the bitter chocolate’s flavor of orange peel & pith paired beautifully with the slightly sour, incredibly hoppy flavor of the beer, resulting in a smooth mouthful reminiscent of grapefruit and canceling out the harsher bitter notes.
still skeptical? you’re in luck – equal exchange and harpoon have teamed up to give away some fantastic prizes, all designed to help you find some great beer & chocolate pairings of your own. check out the contest on facebook and download your own free pairing guide. i don’t usually pimp contests on my blog, but this one is definitely worth your time.
and don’t forget to check out some of the awesome boston food bloggers that came out for the event:
jon from beantown eats
daisy from indulge inspire imbibe
jen from beantown baker
liz from eating places
emily from what emily cooks