A method of promoting the agave-based spirit mezcal, and accepted observe, has historically been to recommend pairing a high quality anejo (aged a minimum of a 12 months) with fantastic chocolate which incorporates 70% or extra cacao. However a current maridaje in downtown Oaxaca, a metropolis in southern Mexico, aimed to push the envelope to limits barely explored, or fairly loved. Administration of the retail outlet and tasting room of Mezcal El Cortijo teamed up with the chocolatier house owners of an area truffle producer often called Xhuladii.
Solely weeks after Oaxaca hit a brand new low at its Feria del Mezcal in an unsuccessful try to lure spirits aficionados to the world of mezcal’s complexity and plethora of taste and aroma nuances, residents of and guests to town have been handled to a sampling of 4 premium El Cortijo mezcals matched with an equal variety of chocolate truffles, every crammed with a famend native delicacy, and in a single case a standard Mexican fragrant herb.
The night started with a reposado con gusano at 38% alcohol by quantity, paired with a truffle crammed with tiny chapulines (salted and spiced fried grasshoppers, a typical Oaxacan snack meals and ingredient in additional complicated dishes). The trace of barrel essence and honey from getting older, and naturally the delicate taste change created by the gusano (popularly known as a worm, however really a larva) matched exquisitely with the mixture of savory crunchiness on the chocolate’s inside, with its easy, candy exterior.
Subsequent our hosts upped the ante with a madrecuishe at 46%, minutes earlier our palates having been primed for a better alcohol content material. Madrecuishe is quite a lot of Agave karwinskii, famous for its complexity. This one was grown within the Miahuatlan district of Oaxaca, celebrated for its rolling hills and local weather conducive to the expansion of this agave species. Whereas the chicatana filling of the truffle accompaniment was a tad too watery, the distinctive style of this seasonal insect, overly liquefied or not, offered maybe essentially the most unique of tastes one can ever hope to come across in Oaxaca. The casing was comprised of three completely different goodies. The consensus of the 15 or so attendees was that this pairing was the weakest of the lot, although nobody might deny the standard of the spirit and truffle individually.
The third mezcal entry was one other from Miahuatlan, an natural arroqueño of the Agave americana var. oaxacensis sub-species. At 49%, it was paired with a truffle laden with an area herb often called hierba de borracho, or poleo, usually lauded for its medicinal properties. The trace of aromatic floral of the mezcal labored extraordinarily effectively with and greater than adequately toned down the sturdy notes of the leafy poleo’s spearmint / citrus character.
Our remaining pairing featured a mezcal produced from an agave popularly often called a pulquero, on this case quite a lot of Agave salmiana, certainly one of a number of species used to provide the fermented beverage pulque. The 46.3% spirit was matched with a semi-sweet truffle crammed with espresso brewed from regionally grown beans. The mezcal tasted stronger in alcohol content material than its acknowledged proportion, doubtlessly coming near overshadowing any particular taste (although touted to be perfumado). It required a sturdy accompaniment. And so each the truffle’s chocolate and its espresso filling served the spirit effectively by softening its power and permitting its fragrance to emerge.
These of us with substantial collections of various mezcals ought to take the effort and time to hunt out equally various varieties of chocolate, together with after all a collection of truffles. Experiment alone, with a accomplice, or higher but inside the context of a gathering of like-minded associates. This all makes for one more means to an finish – the appreciation of the world’s most complicated and variable spirit, Mexico’s personal mezcal.