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Palette cleaning for IIPA/IPA tasting

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by Momar42, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Momar42

    Momar42 Savant (360) Maryland Sep 19, 2010

    Will be running a tasting of some hopalicious beers this weekend and need some advice on finger foods and/or snacks that would help cleanse our palettes between the beers. Have some truly wonderful beers to try and want to make the most out of the experience.
  2. Good luck with that one lol. But I'd go with water and unsalted pretzels.
    BeerKangaroo and hoppygirlcda like this.
  3. Ha! Seriously - DIPA's are known for one & done when it comes to your palate! (Note spelling.) I cannot think of anything except maybe milk & bread that would cleanse & neutralize your taste buds between hugely-hopped beers - and many people can no longer drink milk. If you find something, please report back here!
  4. dumptruck81

    dumptruck81 Savant (360) Texas Dec 28, 2011

    pickled ginger?
  5. TheHoppiest

    TheHoppiest Savant (300) Ohio Aug 28, 2009

    I did a tasting with IPA/DIPA. I served a "Spanish Trail Mix" consisting of diced smoked chorizo sausage, dried dates, dried apricots, manchego cheese, roasted almonds, and smoked paprka. The spiciness and sweet in the trail mix went great wth the beer. Also, if you're finishing your tasting with this style, carrot cake goes great with a DIPA. Sounds crazy, I know, but it is so true!
    jmccraney likes this.
  6. Momar42

    Momar42 Savant (360) Maryland Sep 19, 2010

    The wine guy at a local spirits establishment I frequent suggested mozzarella with tomato and a slight drizzle of olive oil (Caprese salad) but smaller bites and on toothpicks or skewers. I think this might get heavy but might be a nice finger food until the main dish is served later in the evening (Grilled Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon). I know the fish doesnt go with IIPAs but it's a request. I've been wanting to revisit IIPAs since I stumbled on some supreme ones and I cant think of a better day to do it...(Hop)py Easter and all ;). Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I'll let you know how it goes and how far we get. Not as far as I hope I am sure...but there is always next time!
  7. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) New York Dec 30, 2011

    I did one like this a little bit ago, and I made a thread on here about it. It was a blind tasting with 5 guys, and we averaged about 4oz per beer over 9 beers (plus one palate cleanser beer).

    We ate brisket + cheese & crackers throughout. A nice aged cheddar goes great with IPAs.

    In between, we had a coffee porter, which I think did a nice job of palate cleansing. I think something like Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald could also be great.

    Plenty of water, of course. We also did a Bojangles run between the IPAs and and the DIPAs.

    And I feel confident that my palate held up, since my 8th IPA (4th DIPA) was the highest-rated one of the night for me. I also loved that beer last night when I had it for the second time. Others also thought the very last beer was best, so I think they held up, too.

    Start with the less-intense beers, generally. Our tasting went:
    Abita Jockamo; Blind Pig; Stone IPA; Racer V. Maharaj; Pliny; Hopslam; Hop Wallop; Racer X.
  8. Lemon sorbet does the trick.
  9. table water crackers and carbonated water?
  10. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Savant (460) Minnesota Apr 30, 2010

    animal crackers followed by carbonated water works really well.
  11. For the strong hoppy IPAs, Double IPAs and such, I find that Indian food does the trick. Some curry lentils just pair right up with IPAs and do a very good job of resetting the palate. Chase the curry with a little fizzy water to wash away the curry so you can start fresh.

    The only real way to do a hoppy tasting is to stage the beers from mild to dank skunk nugs. e.g. If you drink the Pliny first, every other beer with be all, "Where's the hops?"
  12. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (515) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    Goat cheese on plain crackers.
  13. sdpaul

    sdpaul Savant (285) California May 2, 2012

    Ice water
  14. And no goat cheese on the crackers, it will leave an acidic sensation in your mouth.

    Cold water and plain, unsalted crackers.

    Although if you wanted too, you could put out a platter with something sweet, something salty, something bitter, and something acidic then taste the beer on it's own then taste it with each food. You could see how the beer interacts with foods that represent the different basic taste sensations.

    I took a Wines And Spirits course that used that format and it was pretty fun.
  15. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,000) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    white plain baguette if you want to cleanse your palate.

    Everything else has already been said. Cheese never fails.
  16. A good sharp cheddar is made for hoppy beers. I'm also going to a kick ass IPA tasting next week, I'm looking to bring some good cheese and perhaps dried fruit or something. Love the idea of dried apricots, I think that's happening now. Can never go wrong with dried meats too.
  17. There are some awesome Portuguese sausages and cured/smoked meats that go really well with IPA's. if you have access to that type of thing, try some chouriço and salpicão, and some sharp cheese. There is also a kind of Portuguese bread called folar which is chourico and sometimes presunto too, which is like prosciutto, rolled up in bread dough and baked into a loaf. Not sure if these will cleanse the palate, but I think they go damn well with IPA's for sure.
  18. Tastings:
    I main thing, as I see it, is that you want to scrub the palate clean without leaving any residual taste lingering which would color the next beer. Oily, sticky, stinky, dank hops are persistent by nature (bless their heart! :p!) and so more aggressive measures are needed to wipe the slate clean for the next beer. A bland but rustic bread or crackers are just the ticket, followed by a swallow of water to wash that away.

    Enjoying good beer, people, etc.:
    Bring on your sharp cheddars, your craft sausages, etc. [​IMG] but be aware that these WILL color subsequent mouthfuls of beer.
    __________

    And fear not if you want to do [more-or-less] serious IPA tasting; you can scrub the persistent sausage and cheese flavors away with......... more IPA!! [​IMG]If that isn't a win/win I don't know what is. Beware the consequences that come from drinking copious quantities of strong ale...

    In fact, if drinking too much strong ales isn't a problem for you, you don't need any external palate cleansers; just more of the new IPA! Especially if you do a good swishing around (like rinsing with mouthwash) before swallowing, the same resins which caused the last IPA to linger will act as solvents to clear the way for the current flavor. Problem solved.

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