When the subject of food pairings is touched upon, most people’s thoughts are probably going to turn immediately to wine. Which is no surprise, given the amount of focus on this topic and the great number of resources available. But with the increase in popularity of high-end tea and the increasing number of so-called tea sommeliers, there’s a lot more attention being paid these days to the notion of pairing food with tea.
According to a selection of pairing pointers provided by the Tea Council Ltd. and the Academy of Food and Wine Service and posted at the web site for the Tea Association of Canada, there are three main rules to keep in mind when combining tea with food:
- Light-tasting green teas are great with spicy dishes
- Black tea is ideal for all meats and any hearty dishes like stew or chili
- Scented and fruit teas tend to work best with desserts
For insight into how tea and food pairings work in the real world, take a look at this post at the eGullet Forums. It recalls an evening at acclaimed Dallas restaurant York Street, which saw a variety of oolong, green and black teas paired with a variety of interesting dishes.
If you’re looking for more instruction on food and tea pairings, you can turn to a number of useful primers on the subject. Specialty food magazine The Nibble explored this topic and provided an extensive pairing list.
For a guide to pairing foods with various beverages, including tea, try out What to Drink with What You Eat, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. The book is billed as “The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea – Even Water – Based on Expert Advice from America’s Best Sommeliers.” Though it tends to focus primarily on wine, it has some interesting information about tea and other beverages.
Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!