Italian Food and Whisky: A Pairing to Try
These past few weeks, we have been bringing you different pairing menu's from wine and local food, to whisky and chocolates. If you loved those, then you will love what we have in store for you next.
When dining at an Italian restaurant, the first drink that comes to mind is wine, but what if we told you that there are ways to balance the flavours of whisky and Italian food?
One of our favourite Italian restaurants, Ricciotti has released a whisky pairing menu to perfectly complement the flavours of Italian food with our favourite liquor.
"Our aim is to contribute to the continuous evolution that the Italian cuisine is undergoing. Whisky, though it my seem so far from the Italian Tradition, it has general taste notes that fit perfectly with Italian food. Its dry base allows it to counterbalance and enhance the flavour of most pastas, meat dishes but also fish, especially those with higher content of fat.
For the first pairing menu, we start with a very smooth whisky like Nikka 12 (best Japanese blended whisky in 2015) to end with a Lagavulin 16, a great Islay single malt. For dessert instead we proposed a fine Bourbon like James Pepper, matching perfectly the bitter aftertaste of the chocolate.
Ultimately, it’s not an experience that we want to categorise as ‘fusion’, but more the combination of great food with specific distilled liquors that happen be just perfect together." says Ottavio Gori, founder of Ricciotti.
Want to know what's part of the first whisky pairing menu? Read on below to find out more:
Ricciotti offers the Tagliere di Affettati e Gnocco Fritto, a platter of aged parma ham, mortadella, baked ham, Italian spicy salami, salty fried bread served with a side of pickled vegetables.
Ricciotti pairs this delectable platter of meat with Nikka 12 years. A product of two distilleries (Yoichi and Miyagikyo), The Nikka 12 is a well-balanced blend. With flavours of green-apple freshness, rich fruitcake spiciness, butterscotch and some green-peppercorn punch, this one complements the smoky flavours of the parma ham and spicy salami very well.
An Italian meal isn’t complete with a pasta dish. For the first round of their whisky-pairing menu, Ricciotti serves the Ravioli del Plin. Let the taste of homemade beef stuffed pasta, parmesan cream, porcini mushroom and veal jus linger in your mouth as you sip onto The Balvenie Carribean Cask of 14 years. With notes of vanilla, toffee and a little extra sweetness to the rum, this one complements the meaty flavours of beef and veal jus perfectly.
Marinated lamb rack, eggplant baba ganoush, pomegranate served with garden salad in a crispy bread basket, the Scottadito d’ Angnello is an explosion of flavours in your mouth.
Pair it with the much-sought after single malt, Lagavulin, which has peat smoke evoking the true essence of the southern Islay. The smoke of the Lagavulin 16 years enhance the lamb’s earthiness very well, giving you the perfect blend of both flavours. (No wonder the Scottish have been pairing lamb and whisky since forever!)
If you’re anything like us and think desert is always the best part of every meal, then behold the Salame di Cioccolato – Italian chocolate salami served with cappuccino mousse. The bitter after tastes of the chocolate balances well with notes of spice, and clove in the James E Pepper 1776 Bourbon.
If all this have got you craving and interested in trying the interesting pairing of whisky and Italian food, then head over to Riccioti at 20 upper circular road, B1-49/50 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416. and avail of their whisky pairing menu for SGD88 ++ per head. Call them at +65 6533 9060 for reservations.