Tea and food pairings can be harmonious and peaceful or so jarring that they seem like teatime “blasphemy.” After all, teatime should be about a break in the day, a chance to have a time out and recollect your composure during a hectic day. Right?
Tea drinkers usually recognize that certain foods pair with certain teas. Some of those pairings are very traditional. Very. Some just seem to make sense. Still others range from slightly off kilter to downright whacky where the tastes jar your expectations and your tastebuds. Whether you like this or not only you can say.
A few traditional/sensible pairings:
- Irish Breakfast Blend with a bowl of well-boiled steel cut oats and a bit of cream and honey
- A rich, malty Assam with English style (thick sliced) bacon, crumpets, butter, and jam
- Japanese Sencha with a selection of sushi
- English Breakfast Blend with fried kidneys, scones, clotted cream and jam
- White teas with fruits, a variety of crackers, and mild cheeses
- Cinnamon couscous with lamb and prunes and Moroccan Mint
Some “blasphemous” pairings:
- Japanese Sencha with a big bowl of borscht and sour cream
- Rooibos tisane with French onion soup
- White Peony tea with British steak-and-kidney pie
- Any tea but Devonshire Tea with Devon clotted cream and jam on scones
Quite frankly, I’ve never really been all that concerned about being blasphemous (as far as tea is concerned), so here are some of my favorite pairings:
- Young Pu-erh with a slice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream (on the pie, not in the tea)
- Scottish Breakfast with crisp bacon, eggs, and fresh baked crumpets or scones with jam
- Dragonwell Green Tea with hubby’s soon-to-be-famous salmon filet, green beans with dill sauce, and wild rice pilaf
Bottom line here: Go ahead. Mix it up. Have egg rolls with an English Breakfast Blend, potato salad and grilled hot dogs with pu-erh, Monk’s Blend Black Tea with wiener schnitzel and sauerkraut, or whatever pairing suites your palate. It’s one of the beautiful aspects of the “tea life”: you set your own rules. Enjoy!
Head over to A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, for more advice on living what she calls the “tea life.”