Match of the week
Smoked mackerel salad and 'ancestral' cider
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.
For other cider pairings see my Top Food Pairings for Cider.
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