ASIAN SNACKS YOU NEVER KNEW YOU COULD PAIR WITH WHISKY
When we think of snacks that pair well with whisky, we usually think of chocolates, cheese, dried fruit and nuts. But there are a wide variety of uniquely Asian snacks like salted egg potato chips, pisang goreng (banana fritters) and deep fried pork rind that you can enjoy with a good single malt whisky from the comfort of home.
TARTS GET ARTSY
Pineapples are often used in local pastries. Warm your home and your guests’ palates by serving local Nyonya pineapple tarts with a scotch, for a match made in heaven. For best results, warm up the tarts in a toaster oven to get the sweet aroma of pineapple in the air, before indulging in that first sip.
Having the gang over to watch the big game? People just can’t seem to get enough of salted egg potato chips these days, so try pairing it with a single malt the next time you have friends visiting. The rich salty flavours in the chips bring out the spice notes as well as its sweet butterscotch notes. You’ll find that the effect of opposite flavours can result in a taste with more oomph.
OF FRITTERS AND BITTERS
Anywhere you go in Asia, from cities to kampungs, you’ll find a version of the pisang goreng. In Singapore, they also call this popular snack pisang goreng, but in Thailand they are kluay khaek. Basically, they are made from local bananas and deep fried in batter till brown and crispy. As an after-dinner snack, instead of adding cheese as some already do, you may add a dollop of vanilla ice-cream to upgrade it to a full-fledged dessert. Pour yourself a glass of whisky, preferably something with a fruity note – simply perfect.
MEAT, MEET WHISKY
Thai sausages – like many other cured meats – are simply awesome with whisky. The sausage fat coats your mouth and softens the alcohol on your receptors. Sipping the whisky then washes away the fats and acts as a palate cleanser. The fats in the sausage will also mellow a whisky’s high alcohol content. Here’s a tip: pick a whisky with a slightly spicy flavour for the perfect finish.
Speaking of sausages, how about some Filipino Longanisas – sweet sausages with spices, usually preserved with garlic. For a special touch, try carefully running a flame along the outside of a citrus peel to release its natural oils, then rub the peels along the rims of your whisky glass to add extra zing or drop some into your drink as a garnish.
Every attraction needs a bold sidekick; chicharron made from pork rind or chicken skin and a little bit of fat. These seasoned, sun-dried and deep-fried tasty treats will accentuate the buttery and peppery notes of a whisky like The Glenlivet 15.
Snack pairing is an art and not a science, so create your own snack-pairing chart with a flavour-match of your favourite whisky. Be aware of the fats and acidity in your food. Combine notes to make flavours linger, and use complementing flavours to create greater impact. Be bold and experiment, the sky’s the limit when it comes to whisky and snack pairing.
For our guide on which whisky glass should be used for your cocktail, read WFH: 5 Must Haves for Your Own Whisky From Home Bar.