This week, it was “Quesadilla Thursday” – why not, right? Aside from the eponymous fried tortilla-and-cheese sandwiches, the mealtime line-up featured Amy’s amazing guacamole, which she makes from scratch, using only a few ingredients. Like avocado, garlic, salt, and a squeeze of lime or lemon. No mayo or sour cream. Definitely no salsa – that sours the whole thing. And she mixes it in a mortar and pestle, and that’s the key of C to me.
Now comes my part – what cold drink to serve with it? We decided to do a little taste-off, to determine the best match-up to the quac, chips, and (side dish of) salsa. In my corner was an India pale ale from the venerable Brooklyn Brewery , up against the reigning champ of Tex-Mex meals, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Not surprising, the Sierra’s malty sweetness mixed well with the creamy, chunky texture of the quacamole. The key to beery blissful food combos is matching like with like, in this case, combining the mellow, sugary beer with the natural sugars in the (fresh – that’s the ticket) avocado. Ding! End of Round One.
But the hoppier and (yes, indeed, Bud fans!) palpably bitter tang of the IPA cut right through the acidity of tomato and spices in the salsa. Even more important, the extra bubbles in the IPA worked like a squeegee to wash away the salt and oil of the chips from my tongue (TMI?). And so, Round Two goes to the IPA.
Comparing glasses (and yes, this is also important: pour your beer into a nice glass with some belly, like a wine glass, so you can enjoy the aroma and the pleasures of the foam), the color of the two brews was very similar. In fact, aside from the slightly grassier aroma of the IPA, it was hard to tell them apart. Which was OK, since we traded sips along the way, and so the bout ended in a draw. With an empty bowl.
The whole experience makes me think of a favorite Paul Goodman poem, “Falling Up”:
The bubbles of gas
speed up in the glass,
just as the sparks
leap up in the dark.
Nothing is so fair
as this law of t square
in my glass of beer.
Even more beautiful
is the invisible
inertia that sinks under
with inaudible thunder.
Ain’t it the truth. Anyone who can recite that to me in a bar will earn a free round.