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Recap: Cochon’s Crispin Cider dinner

Written by  Eric Clavo
If you’re an avid reader of InthekNOwla (and I know you are), we’re sure you came across our picks for the best beers at the New Orleans International Beer Festival, where we awarded Crispin Cider Company’s Artisanal Reserve Honey Crisp Cider as the “Best Non-Traditional Beer.” To our delight, Crispin hosted a fantastic dinner pairing five of their ciders with food prepared by Chef Drew Lockett of Cochon.  Yes, five mouthwatering courses paired alongside varying Crispin ciders handpicked to match each dish perfectly.
 
Upon arrival, guests were treated to a “Crispin Cooler,” a specialty cocktail with a combination of Classic Crispin Cider, Hendrix Jin, cucumber, and a slice of lime…a light and refreshing addition to any happy hour.
But the atmosphere quickly changed as it was time to get down to business and start the journey from Course #1 to #5. The first course, “Frito Misto,” consisted of spring vegetables lightly fried tempura style, with agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce), paired with the Natural Hard Cider. The pairing of the hard cider allowed for a drawing out of the subtle sweetness of the vegetables.
 
The next course was a local green salad with Japanese radish, lemon cucumber, and gorgonzola picante, pecans, and a lemon-herb dressing, paired with the Fox Barrel Pacific Pear Cider, the sweetness of which provided a good balance to the hint of sour from the lemon dressing.
 
A more traditional European styled cider, Brown Lane English Style, with its dry woody lingering finish complemented a crisp skin-on chicken thigh with braised chard and cippollini onion, butcher bacon, and herb salad. The well-seasoned mouthwatering flavor of the chicken and light sweetness of the onions coupled with this cider choice made for one of the most savory courses of the evening.
 
Since we were above Cochon, we might as well have a bit of pork, right? Well the fourth course offered suckling pig three ways (marinated grilled chop, shoulder confit, and smoke roasted leg) with smoked sausage, leeks, fingerling potatoes, and natural jus paired with the Cho-Tokkyu cider. The Cho Tokkyu is a cloudy cider fermented with sake yeast and rice syrup. While tasting neither like traditional sake nor cider, it enhanced the pork flavor and was absolutely blissful.
 
With hardly any room left over, we still had to take down the final course. Lucky for us, it was a warm blueberry buckle served with cinnamon ice cream and Lansdowne cider which uses apple-wine fermented with a classic Irish stout ale yeast and smoothed with organic molasses. It was a match made in heaven for the sweetness of the blueberry in the buckle. The combination of the two made for a great culmination and finale to an extraordinary dinner.
 
At the end, we were all obviously stuffed and happy. Five amazing courses down for the count!

Last modified on Saturday, 19 May 2012
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