What beers and wines go best with everyday foods? An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune from a year and a half back got me thinking about regional foods and the apposite pairings.
The Strib doesn’t emphasize gourmet, foodie foods; rather Bill Ward (wine guy) and Michael Agnew (beer guy) address pairings with more ordinary fare:
Of particular interest to me, more than the details of the suggested pairings, was the regional slant exhibited by the list of foods the newspaper chose. Here they are:
- BBQ ribs
- Buffalo wings
- Caesar salad
- cheese curds
- hot dish
- Pad Thai
- potato chips
The items in red would assuredly not appear on any New England list of everyday foods, though most of the others might. In fact I would wager that some of my right-coast readers couldn’t even identify all of those red items with assurance. (For example I had never heard the term “brats” — for bratwurst sausages — nor eaten cheese curds until I moved to flyover country.)
And s’mores? I doubt that Easterners would necessarily consider s’mores a common everyday food. Here are some purported s’mores facts (although how authoritative a source is “BrandPoint, Free Premium Content?”):
- National S’mores Day is August 10
- An average of 2.1 million s’mores are consumed nationwide each summer
- Grand Rapids, Michigan is the epicenter of the s’mores phenomenon
So perhaps we can assert that the Upper Midwest is more s’mores-obsessed than the East.
Here are a few foods that New Englanders might well add to such a list.
- Boston clam chowder
- franks & beans
Contrapositively, Midwest readers might not have a clue about “grinders,” a.k.a. hoagies or subs.
I looked for a similar list of beer / wine pairings for everyday foods with a New England slant, but came up mostly with lists (such as this one) of seafood dishes and their recommended accompaniments. A year ago there was a restaurant in Winterport, Maine, associated with both a winery and a brewery there; it was called Pairings. Here’s a review. I don’t see current evidence that it is still in operation.