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Wednesday Food: African Soup/ Baudelaire Beer

Je suis un cimetière abhorré de la lune. -Spleen LXXVI

Full disclosure: this beer does NOT go with this dish.  These were just the two greatest consumables to come out of my week.

The dish– African Curried Coconut Soup, from the Tropical Vegan Kitchen, transcribed here.  Donna Klein has a range of cookbooks that tackle regional cuisine (Italian, Mediterranean) from a vegan perspective.  Her books are informative, creative, and inspirational.  I had a craving for something with curry and coconut, and after rejecting a number of Thai noodle recipes that had low nutritional content I found this simple, esculent soup.

The beer– Baudelaire iO Saison (batch 4) from Jolly Pumpkin— one of my favorite breweries of all time, which I last featured here.  The Baudelaire Beer line was introduced two years ago.  A friend provided me a sample of this beer (too precious for everyday drinking) which bears a deep rosy hue and full, white head.  As with so many farmhouse ales, the aroma is funky, even musty, from the wild yeast but also vaguely floral.  The flavor is unique because the expected tart character is joined with a distinct bitterness.  Delicate sweet, spicy, and herbal notes come through before the dry finish.  Brewed with rose hips, rose petals, and hibiscus.  Can’t help but conjure up visions of a bellows-blowing accordion and pink Paris skies.


April 6, 2011 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. Had one of our book club meetings at the Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor. It was our worst book club meeting yet (only four showed and two didn’t read the book) but the food and drink were excellent.

    We all had to try what was called the best Belgian beer (in the world?) by the New York Times, the Oro de Calabaza.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | April 6, 2011

  2. Oro de Calabaza was one of the best beers I had last year, Matt; I’m in complete agreement with you there. African coconut and peanut soups have been on my mind for a while- what beers might you suggest to pair with the dish, Erika??

    And of note, I think farmhouse ales are the new black.

    Comment by Vanessa | April 6, 2011

  3. “Brewed with rose hips, rose petals, and hibiscus.” Very chic!
    But what about that fly on the label? Possibly a (not so metaphoric) hint at Baulelaire’s Fleurs Du Mal that émanent des miasmes instead of scents?

    Comment by grrl | April 7, 2011

  4. My pairing choice would probably be a Belgian Tripel. The sweetness and weight of the coconut milk and high spice level require a big swinging beer, but anything hoppy or with chocolate/ coffee flavors would interfere. St. Bernardus 12 or Maredsous 10 would be solid contenders.

    Comment by ebolden | April 7, 2011

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