To pair our Black, we opted for a complex interplay. The five basic taster: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami in one pairing. A Black IPA always works well with strong cheeses, so we concocted a salad with goat cheese, fried bacon, baked apples, roasted pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, arugula, raisins and a fresh dressing made with honey, mustard, olive oil and wine vinegar. One bite will be a bit sour, the other sweet with a nice bridge of rather salty and umami components. The beer provides the bitter touch.
The baked apples and cherry tomatoes give the dish freshness, which is further underlined by the slightly sour and sweet dressing. The salty goat cheese creates a filmy mouthfeel that the Black IPA will cut through, a contrast that works really well. The salt also enhances the hop and malt flavors in the beer. The tropical character of the Simcoe contrasts with the earthy taste of the arugula, while the raisins, apples and dressing provide the sweet touch.
The roasted pine nuts and especially the savory fried bacon build a strong bridge with the aromas of the roasted malts and bring all the flavors together nicely.