Wry Exchange

Boots, Beer, & Chocolate
03-31-08, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, Home | Tags: , ,

 Belgium is a small country famous for beer and chocolate.  Former exchange students turned Husband on to eating chocolate while drinking beer.  Don’t think Milky Way & Miller, think high-end dark chocolate with premium beer.

One of our former Belgians, Bella, returned for a visit in late Summer a few years ago.  She’s one of Husband’s all-time favorites.  She’s smart, funny, and beautiful, even with shorts and flipflops. She’s fluent in 5 languages, and will be a translator after her graduation.  We took her out for dinner.  For dessert, Bella wanted beer and a rich chocolate bombe.  She ordered Budweiser.  Husband and I thought ‘ewww’ but didn’t say anything.  She had only a few sips, and a few bites.  We asked her why she didn’t order a Belge beer, and she said she wanted to try an American beer, and that was the only one she recognized among the artisan beers.   FES’ may grow older, but never up.  They don’t ask for assistance.

After dinner, we went shoe shopping.  Bella wanted tall black boots.  She found several pairs to try.   She loved the sluttiest black boots with the highest heel in the store.  She loudly (and happily) exclaimed “I look like a whore!”  With her accent, it sounded like HOO-errr.  It was so cute.  However, this woman’s head popped around the corner to see what our girl looked like with short shorts and hooker boots.  She gave all three of us the ‘Death Look.’ We bought her the boots anyway.  Isn’t that what pimps and madams do?

Googling ‘Belgian beer chocolate tasting’ will turn up many pairings, especially with all the gourmet chocolate that’s easily available now.   
 *There are three general categories of beers to pair with assorted chocolates-dark, fruity/spicy, and malty.
Dark beers, such as porters and stouts, are made from caramelized barley and toasted malts offering really deep earthy tones. They’re a perfect pairing with any chocolate, especially a caramel truffle, chocolate turtle with caramel and nuts or caramel-infused dark milk chocolate bar.  These are Belgian-style ale beers that go great with nearly any chocolate because they are made from barley that is roasted until the nutty, cocoa chocolate tones start coming out.
The yeast the Belgiums use has a lot of underlying fruit tones, especially Trappist-style doubles, so you might pick up some chocolate, caramel, toast, dried fruit or clove spice.  For a double wow, combine any berry-flavored truffle or chocolate bar with dried berries and amber ale.
Pale malty beers, such as American wheat beers and white ales, tend to pair beautifully with malt-flavor truffles, gourmet malt balls and chocolate and nut combinations.  Be careful with pale ales produced in the Midwest because they are more hop-accentuated than others, the hops will add more citrus, bitter tones with some chocolates.
A word about black chocolate stouts — which are an excellent pairing with a chocolate dessert. Black chocolate stout is made with black chocolate and roasted malts (not chocolate candy), so it imparts powdered cocoa and creamy, dark, bittersweet chocolate flavors.
*From Mlive.com


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