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Absinthe and Cheese party?

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So I'm having a small group of friends over for an introduction to good drinks. My birthday bottle of Edouard came in along with some other personal items and I wanted to share the wealth with the poor unfortunates with whom I have aqquaintince. Only one problem, what to serve with le Fee Verte? Also, any cigar or pipe smokers out there please pass along a recomendation on tobacco, since I don't want to overpower any of the tastes.

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I'm sure a great many will have different opinions, but I haven't enjoyed absinthe as much with food. Absinthe before food, very good. Absinthe after food, very good. You should probably serve the La Fee with food.

 

I don't smoke so I can't provide any advice on that.

 

btw, Happy Birthday! :cheers:

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Depends; were you planning on a dinner party or a cocktail party?

 

While absinthe is traditionally an aperitif, intended to be a pre-meal appetizer drink, I take my cue from the Greeks and Turks: they drink arak and ouzo with a selection of mezzes, various traditional mediterranean hot savories.

 

At Wormwood Society events, we've had success with all kinds of things from sushi to pizza. In terms of pairing absinthe with foods, the thing I'd keep in mind is that whatever food you choose, it should be robust and flavorful enough to stand up to the absinthe.

 

For cigars, if you stay away from drugstore brands and stick with decent quality cigars, you should be okay. I've had some pretty sturdy cigars (CAO's MX2, double Maduro) with absinthe and they go admirably well together. But then so do mild claros.

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You know, it's weird, When it comes to Absinthe, pipes and food, I tend to be a don't-let-my-food-touch-on-the-plate kind of guy. By that I mean that I tend to focus on my Absinthe or my pipe, or my meal but not to mix them. The tradition for mixing them is obviously there, no doubt, but I tend not to for some reason. I guess I am going for intensity of experience through concentration (not mental concentration but concentration of experience ie not diluted). I should try it the other way one of these days.

 

That brings up a question. Can one relax intensely?

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Any time I've smoked anything, whether cheap or decent, while drinking absinthe, the smoke covers all of the flavours of the absinthe except the anise. And that's generally the only time I taste the anise (unless it's star anise *ack*) because I'm so used to it. And no food I've had has ever worked with absinthe. I agree with Shai; one at a time for me.

 

As for relaxing intensely, I do that every Sunday. It's almost work to avoid putting forth any effort and instead eat tons of food, drink beer, and watch football and NASCAR. But it's worth it.

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Agreed with peridot and Shai. Especially on the tobacco covering up the finer points of the absinthe. But, everyone has their opinions. I like absinthe more than either food or tobacco, heh, so that's me.

 

On that note, however, I have found that some cheese and a few other things do to well with absinthe. For cheeses, I like sharper varieties such as a good Bleu, and also softer more subtle cheeses such as Brie. Jarlsberg or Goat cheese also go good. Just DON'T SKIMP on the cheese or you'll be sorry. Also, *smoked salmon goes very well* with absinthe for me. I'm not sure why, but the smoke tends to be a catalyst for its flavor to me.

 

Good luck. And don't let everyone down your bottle of Edouard my man!!! That shit's expensive!

 

Aaron

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I'm along the lines of Shinsain here--

 

Smoked Fish and Meat like prosciutto along with pickled peppers and olives go along nicely with absinthe I think. Hiram's suggestion of salads like Taramosallata or eggplant would compliment the absinthe flavors as well.

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Understand this, I lead a sheltered life.

 

I like dark chocolate to nibble on while relaxing with a glass of absinthe.

 

I don't think they compete but rather stand alone. Hard for me to explain but I just like it.

 

Good luck and have fun.

 

:cheers:

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In regards to smoking while drinking absinthe, my recommendation would be to wait until you've had a few drinks before you light up. After 4 or 5, tastebuds tend to numb a bit, so you won't worry about your cigar masking the absinthe flavors. Also, the smoke will cover up a lot of the aroma which blossoms during the addition of water. At that point, I'd also recommend switching from your Eduard to something a bit more 'day-to-day', like a Lemercier.

 

For cigars, I like Hiram's list, but anything mild would work just fine. I have a box of Wall Street cigars that I use during drinking because they taste good, but they are super mild. They are also extremely cheap. I got them from Thompson Cigar. If you're going to venture into the more spicy cigars, I'd definitely wait till you're a few drinks in.

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I agree on the smoked fish and meat, as well as nibbling on dark chocolate.

I also find salty snacks like potato chips, especially those seasoned with cheese & onion or dill & chives, to be good companions to absinthe.

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I recently ate at a restaurant where a cheese plate that was ordered at our table contained a discreet pile of roughly crushed walnuts in one corner and on the opposite edge a discreet pile of toasted anise. The proferred cheese with a light addition of the anise seed was superb. This might be a bit redundant when paired with absinthe as the drink of choice, but it does highlight the affinity of certain cheeses to the addition of an anise flavor.

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Absinthe with a meal is fine for a casual kind of thing. If you're going for something classy or showy, I'd save absinthe for before and/or after the meal.

 

I find a good beer goes better with a meal than a good absinthe.

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Of course, I normally only drink La Fée! However I have found that some of the Swiss absinthes go very well with fish, especially salmon. It must be the fennel ..

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Chocolate I've not tried, but I think I will now. I don't normally eat seafood at all (except southern fried catfish) but smoked salmon might work. Lots of good ideas here.

 

I agree with AndrewT. All in all, it's much easier to pair a good beer instead of absinthe with a good meal.

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Oh, come on Peridot, ya redneck!

 

Honestly, you'll like the smoked salmon, really, you will. But get a good brand. Don't just go pick up "Bob's Southern Smoked Salmon" or something.

 

Aaron

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:D Compared to a lot of people here, I'm probably a total redneck! Fried catfish, barbecued pulled pork on a half bun, cole slaw, baked beans, 'tater salad, hush puppies, super-sweetened iced tea, a pint of beer, and Butterfinger pie! Fuck yeah! :headbang:

 

I've had smoked salmon, but only in Eggs Benedict and I liked that. What sounded new to me is having it with absinthe. If anyone's got good ideas for a dinner to prepare around it I'll do it soon. I have a modest culinary work history so complexity's not an issue. I just have never done much with seafood, except my Guinness coconut popcorn shrimp, which I don't generally eat. I just make it for friends.

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Oh, believe me, I've traveled and been stationed throughout the south everywhere from Texas to Virginia, I LOVE all the foods you speak of. In fact, Catfish is one of my all time favorite foods, period.

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Well the people coming over are all Victorian Society buddies, so I was thinking along the lines of a victorian cocktail hour. The imaginary itenerary goes Eduard, some light snacks, more substantial meal, and cigars and the VdF/BdF, maybe Kübler. Dark chocolate could easily fit in there somewhere.

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I do a lot of food pairing with absinthe (bf is a chef, don't forget). One of my favourite appetizers to serve with absinthe is this:

Get a good quality baguette.

Slice into thin slices (on a diagonal, if you please) and toast to a light golden brown in your oven on a cookie tray.

Place on top of the tostati a slice of really goood gorganzola cheese.

Drizzle with honey.

Serve and enjoy with absinthe.

 

I like this with absinthe, because it has a full combination of sweet and savory flavours, much like the absinthe.

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Sounds nummy.

 

Last night, BlueWolf brought some excellent cheeses, one of which was a triple cream brie that went very well with the Pacifique. There was also a really nice white cheddar, a chevre with herbes de provence, and a Spanish bleu. BlueWolf has excellent taste in cheese.

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You all suck. Czechs are almost as bad at cheese-making as they are at making absinthe.

I had to go out of the country for the aforementioned cheese plate.

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:D Compared to a lot of people here, I'm probably a total redneck! Fried catfish, barbecued pulled pork on a half bun, cole slaw, baked beans, 'tater salad, hush puppies, super-sweetened iced tea, a pint of beer, and Butterfinger pie! Fuck yeah! :headbang:

 

 

You forgot cornbread and buttermilk. Mmmmm good! You can't claim Bama status unless these items are on your table.

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No, that's where I draw the line. I'll eat things made with buttermilk, but I will absolutely not at all ever ever ever drink it or dip cornbread in it. Cornbread is one thing that makes me different from everyone else I know, as I don't like it dry. A friend of mine told me he won't eat cornbread unless it has no trace of sweetness at all and is so dry that a few crumbs instantly suck all the moisture out of one's mouth... and that anyone who disagrees is NOT southern. I said, "thanks, but I like to actually enjoy food."

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Nope, he said, "I'm gonna gimmeh somma that thur whiskee and then ah'll come back hur an' kill yew!"

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Sounds nummy.

 

Last night, BlueWolf brought some excellent cheeses, one of which was a triple cream brie that went very well with the Pacifique. There was also a really nice white cheddar, a chevre with herbes de provence, and a Spanish bleu. BlueWolf has excellent taste in cheese.

 

Fromage et Pacifique? :no2:

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A friend of mine told me he won't eat cornbread unless it has no trace of sweetness at all and is so dry that a few crumbs instantly suck all the moisture out of one's mouth... and that anyone who disagrees is NOT southern. I said, "thanks, but I like to actually enjoy food."

 

Cornbread should be sweet and moist. Tell him this comes from a bona fide Southern belle.

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:laf:

 

 

Now for anyone whose been paying attention, you know I was actually born a Yankee. However, one Grandma lived in Florida and had a summer cabin in the mountains west of Asheville, NC. Back in the early 60's you drove the Pontiac Bonneville to visit. I always remember a stop in Georgia for breakfast at some diner. I loved those grits with the bacon and eggs. My family thought I must have been switched at birth or something. I've always had a soft spot for good Southern food.

 

btw, peridot, NASCAR is really big up here in upstate NY. Though not owning a TV means I do miss out.

:cheers:

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