Anyone who reads this site quickly knows that I like food and beer pairings.  One of my go to resources is The Best of American Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders.  I feel this is a must buy for the recipes it contains.  The book has two main sections Food and Beer Across North America and Cooking and Pairing Recipes.

Saunders  who also writes published this book in 2007.  Judging by the content I am guessing the book was likely written in 2005/ 2006.  There is a rather lengthy discussion on beer and food spanning about 80 pages. This look at beer and food had many short discussions on trends which seriously dated the book.  I should mention that Saunders wrote this book as the beer/food revolution was beginning to really blossom.  Reading the introduction is very much like a time capsule, but do not expect that the book that is going to bring you up to speed on the revolution.  I did find the different regional beer and food discussions fascinating.

The bulk of the book is recipes and like I said makes this book worth buying.  There are cheese and chocolate sections that began with rather lengthy introductions that really explained how the whole pairing concept works.  I was rather disappointed the other food sections like salad, pasta or off the hoof had no introduction section.

Recipes were scattered throughout the first section.  section II contained the bulk of the recipes.  Each recipe had a few sentences about where the recipe came from.  Many of which come from brewpubs or gastropubs.  At no point did I see a name of a beer in here which I feel allows for the consumer to more easily identify the appropriate and locally available beer.  I warn novice cooks that many of the recipes are not easy.  That is not a criticism, but I feel as if you should be warned this book may challenge you.  The recipes were laid out in a consistent manner making them easy to follow.  Many had a picture so you knew what the dish should look like.

My two absolute favorites from this book include:

  • Jicama, Apple, Fennel, Sweet Pepper, and Orange Salad with a Beer/ Mint Vinaigrette.  I use apple ale and it is a hit every-time.
  • Fudge Stout Brownies which include Coffee Stout and bourbon.
I usually whip out these two recipes to blow people away when it is a first time having a beer dinner with me.



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