Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Salty Snacks Pairing - Doritos Edition

Last July we broke off from our beer and Girl Scout Cookies pairing, venturing down a Kettle chips-guided salty road. Since then we'd been toying around with the idea of another chip pairing and last weekend we did the first, of which there may be whole series of, additional chip and/or salty snack pairings. 

Chris arrived at our local with four of the who-knows-how-many flavors of Doritos
- Sweet Spicy Chili
- Salsa Verde
- Chile Limon
- Tapatio
In addition, Dave happened upon our pairing party and contributed a bag of Lundberg Sesame Seaweed Rice Chips.

The chip that turned out to be most pair-able was Sweet Spicy Chili, working well with:
- StormBreaker Good...Not Great imperial red ale
- de Garde Imperial Peach Bu Berliner Weisse
- Culmination 4 & 20 imperial CDA
- New Holland Cabin Fever brown ale
- Anchor Porter
The sweet-spiciness of the chips married well with the maltiness of the StormBreaker, New Holland and Anchor while the darkness of the Culmination provided a nice compliment. Perhaps most surprising was how well the de Garde fruit sour worked, resulting in a sweet heat flavor reminiscent of Burnside's Sweet Heat beer.

Chile Limon, the spiciest of the chips and the one that made the most mess of one's hands with its heavily saturated dusting, was the second most pair-able, finding friends in:
- Zoiglhaus Zoigl-Pils
- Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale
- New Holland Cabin Fever brown ale
Not surprisingly the maltiness of the Oskar Blues and New Holland beers offset the heat of the chips. With the Old Chub the pairing took on a spicy tomato flavor and the Cabin Fever highlighted the lime flavor in the chips. Somewhat surprising was that the Pils was able to stand up to the assertive chip.

Tapatio, using one of our favorite readily available hot sauces, was best with: 
- Level Ready Player One Saison 
- New Holland Cabin Fever brown ale
- Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish ale
In the case of the Saison, the hot sauce flavor transformed the beer into more of a lager profile. With the brown ale and Scottish ale, similar to the pairing with Chile Limon, the maltiness of the beers complimented the chip's spiciness.

Salsa Verde, the most mildly flavored of the Doritos, turned out to be one of the most difficult to pair with. Level's Ready Player One dry-hopped Saison overpowered it and the peppers were unpleasantly brought to prominence with Oskar Blues Old Chub Scottish Ale. Only de Garde Imperial Peach Bu really worked, with the flavor combination being similar to a fruit salsa one might find on a fish taco. 

Although we weren't previously familiar with Lundberg Sesame Seaweed Rice Chips the chips on their own had a pleasant flavor and hearty feeling in the mouth. They made for a three-way tie to be second most pair-able with beers that had paired well with other chips. 
- Zoiglhaus Zoigl-Pils
- Level Ready Player One Saison
- Culmination 4 & 20 imperial CDA
The lightness of the Pils and Saison seemed obvious pairings while Culmination's imperial CDA was quite a surprise. On the surface we assumed that the beer would easily overpower the rice chips however putting more thought into it, the sesame may have been the key ingredient that made it work. Tahini, the highly flavorful paste made from ground sesame seeds, is what gives hummus its distinct flavor and may have been what allowed the chips to stand up to the CDA.

As our salt-saturated adventure wound down we pondered how to proceed. With the vastness of salty snacks available we decided there would need to be categories/installments since like Doritos, each group has many flavors available. Those might end up looking like:
- Old school potato chips (i.e. BBQ, sour cream & onion, including Cheetos)
- Fritos
- Pringles
- Triscuits
- Wheat Thins
- Veggie crisps (including Funyuns because onions are veggies)
- Croutons
- Random Asian store chip aisle
- Pringles

For now, however, we'll continue recovering from our salt hangovers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment