with Bruce Aidells
president of Aidells Sausage Co. and
co-author, with Denis Kelly, REAL BEER AND GOOD EATS
many cooks, Aidells followed a circuitous route to the world of food.
"In the late 60s, while in grad school, I started cooking my
way through the Time-Life series, Foods of the World," recalls
Aidells. "The first dish I made with beer was a classic, a Belgian
post-doctoral researcher living in London, Aidells began making sausages,
and also sampling English ales. "London was where I learned to
love Welsh rarebit, made with real Englishn Cheddar and ale."
of the most food-friendly beers to drink with a meal, Aidells realized,
aren't always the ones to use in cooking. "Beers that aren't
so hoppy and bold actually make better-tasting food," adds Aidells.
exceptions to that rule exist - as in another recipe Aidells learned
in the UK - a gently braised beef stew rich with Guinness, mushrooms
and cream. "The cream mellows and softens the hoppiness of the
ale," says Aidells.
is superior to red wine as a marinade base, believes Aidells. "I
don't advocate marinating with strong red wines. The acidity in wine
can be so overpowering. Beer is much more subtle, and really complements
more delicate proteins such as fish, pork and chicken."
grilled, smokey flavors go best with beer, so Aidells recommends beer
to drink with BBQ.
a general rule of thumb, the beer of a specific country often goes
well with its cuisine, for example, Singha goes great with Thai food,
and a beer that I normally don't drink on its own, Taj Mahal, goes
really well with Indian food, because it's got a hint of that old
rice taste, that nuttiness that meshes with spices and curries."
Aidells if he ever tried to make sausage with spent grain, in the
same tradition as Boudin sausage made with rice, Czech sausage made
with liver and barley, and Norwegian potato sausage.
the guys at Full Sail in Hood River, Oregon, had a better solution,"
recalls Aidells. "They gave spent grain to a local hog farmer
who, months later, would give them pork sausages from these really