Real perry - as opposed to the often confected and artificially flavoured pear cider - has a different taste from cider. It’s more delicate, more fragrant, a better match for fish. You can treat drier styles like a dry white wine, sweeter ones almost like a dessert wine. And sparkling perries like champagne. But cheaper. Good news all round!
Here are some suggestions:
* The drier styles work particularly well with simply cooked fish or fish with a creamy sauce. Avoid strong flavours like tomato and garlic.
* Fried fish like goujons or even fish and chips
* Fishcakes and fish pie
* Fresh crab
* Seared scallops though you might want to go for a medium-dry style
* Mussels in a cream sauce marinière-style but cooked with a medium-dry perry
* Prawn or seafood cocktail or salads (medium dry styles)
* Delicate or gently spiced chicken dishes: roast chicken with tarragon. Creamy chicken pies like this chicken and leek pie. Chicken salads. Chicken terrines (but watch the chutney!)
* Pork dishes with apple or pears like this dish of pork chops with apple, fennel and onion I wrote about earlier this year. And pork sausages of course. But not with onion gravy (too strong)
* English-style cold cuts like ham sliced off the bone, cold roast pork, pork pies, Scotch eggs
* Boxing Day leftovers
* Mild cheeses - young goats cheese, Delicate regional cheeses like Caerphilly and Cheshire. Medium sweet styles work well with mellow blue cheeses like Stilton
* Vegetable soups with a touch of sweetness like carrot, pea or leek soups, especially with a little cream
* Fresh-tasting salads with peas, broad beans or fennel
* Sweeter styles, which often have a touch of honey go well with salads with fruit and milder blue cheeses and with simple puddings like a simple apple or pear tart or pannacotta and raspberries as I suggest in the Guardian today.
* Sparkling perry will go with typical party nibbles (especially cheesy and fishy ones) and with midly spiced Indian snacks.
So mild is the word with perry. Treat it gently and stay clear of fierce flavours.
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