Wednesday Food: Sticky Toffee Pudding and Oatmeal Stout
Through the window you see rolling green hills interrupted by a winding country road. Shorthorn cows graze behind limestone walls. Gray skies watch over the hovering mist. You’re inside where it’s warm and a nearby laugh turns your attention back to the friends you are amongst. There’s a plate in front of you and a pint by its side.
England. Our time together was but one short week over ten years ago. I hardly even left London. But I was there long enough to know we still have unfinished business. There are casked ales to be tracked down, pubs to while away at, cheeses to be sampled, and of course that plate in front of you needs attention.
Take a bite. Taste the delicate spice and rich sweetness of the pudding. Notice how moist the cake is as you press it against the roof of your mouth. The caramelized sugar of the toffee has a hint of lemon which keeps it from cloying sweetness. It’s sticky toffee pudding. And it’s sitting next to a roasty creamy stout. The moment the pudding becomes too intense you rinse your palate and enjoy the molasses flavor you couldn’t distinguish in the beer without that bite of food. The rush of cool, carbonated liquid is welcome.
It’s perfect. For a rainy day in a tiny English hamlet. For an overcast day in Southern California where you can almost convince yourself you are sitting on that bar stool in a tiny English hamlet.
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