Match of the week | Smoked mackerel salad and 'ancestral' cider

Match of the week

Smoked mackerel salad and 'ancestral' cider

Last week was mainly about cider - I went to the Cider Salon in Bristol at the weekend where I enjoyed a succession of English ciders with a five course feast prepared by Native Vine.

Although the pairings were spot on - especially a superb dish of belly pork with a fennel and peach salsa - none of them came as a surprise (which is what I try to focus on in this slot).

That honour went to a smoked mackerel potato and pickled cucumber salad I had at Café Deco in Store Street in Bloomsbury which was just brilliant with an ‘ancestral’ Spanish cider called Fuente Guijarro from Andalucia. (Interestingly the south of the country rather than the cider-obsessed north but made 2000m above sea level)

It’s basically a pet nat so the cider was cloudy and slightly funky but not to the extent that it overwhelmed the pure apple flavour which was the element that went so well with the smoked fish, sweet-pickled cucumber and pea shoots which were part of the salad too.

There was another salad on the table - made from green bean, basil and parmesan - which also worked really well.

Cider, even artisan cider like this, tends to be a cheaper option than wine so is definitely worth exploring if you find it on a drinks menu.

You can buy the Fuente Guijarro ancestral for £15 from Native Vine in Bristol and from Crouch End Cellars in north London for £16.

For other cider pairings see my Top Food Pairings for Cider.

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