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Hoppy Cooks Read “Grilling with Beer”

The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin has a nice write-up of Lucy Saunders‘ book “Grilling with Beer,” including a couple of recipes from the book. This is my favorite paragraph from the article. Foodies take heed.

Saunders rarely refers to beer generically. Her ingredient lists may call for Asian lager on one page, then apple ale, rauchbier (which has a smoky flavor) or a porter. Her cooking advice is for people who recognize the difference, and the beauty, of matching the right beer to an entree, salad or side dish.

And in Philly, Joe Sixpack is also waxing eloquently about Lucy’s book, in his latest column, entitled “Beer, briquettes, barbecue: bee-yoo-ti-ful.”

Without argument, outdoor grilling and beer is the greatest union ever devised by man, and I’m including bacon and eggs, fast cars and loose women and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Fire and fermentation: It’s the heroic achievement that separates us from monkeys. It’s part of our DNA, this primeval passion for flames and altered reality.

Also, it tastes good.

Well said, Mr. Russell. He sat down with Saunders when she was in town last month for a beer dinner at Monk’s Cafe and Belgian Emporium and they discussed the relationship between food and beer.

The barley malts in beer, Saunders told me over beers on a visit to the city recently, add to the flavor of grilled food, often caramelizing on its surface. Wash down a bite, and the citrusy hops will cut through the fat. Take another gulp, and the carbonation completes the refreshment.

“There are so many different flavors in beer, it’s not very hard to find styles that add to the flavor of food,” she said.

How true, I’m continually amazed at how many people still believe wine pairs better with most food and how entrenched that false notion is in our culture. It’s the perception, of course, that wine is sophisticated and beer is not, but happily that’s slowly — very slowly — beginning to change thanks to the hard work of people like Lucy Saunders and her new book, Grilling with Beer.”

In the interest of full disclosure, Lucy is a friend and colleague, and I contributed a chapter to this book, but either way it doesn’t diminish the fact that you should buy several copies right now, one for yourself and a few more as gifts. With grilling season officially upon us, you need this book right now, but Christmas is only six months away. Do you want to be at the mall Christmas Eve looking for that last minute gift? Or would you rather take care of it now, and save yourself the time to enjoy a few more Christmas beers come December? See, it pays to shop early.


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