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Issue 39 - Let's go to the salad bar

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004


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Let's go to the salad bar

Martine Nouet lightens up for summer

When spring appears, we crave light. Longer and brighter days but also lighter meals with fresh crunchy vegetables, special sauces and cold
dishes. This is the season for salads.

At first sight, that type of food does not excite inspiration for great matches or recipes with whisky.

My culinary passion for vinegar probably attracted to me to start working on possible pairings for whisky with salads. I quickly found very interesting combinations. Not the easiest ones, obviously, but really challenging recipes.

The good thing with salads is that you can work in harmony with the four primary tastes (sweet, sour, salty and bitter).

Some will think that you have got to be French to promote such a funny pairing. Well, salad is a nightmare dish for wine tasters and wine-waiters when it comes to matching wine with food.

Wine and vinegar though, in the case of wine vinegar, both originating from grape, are often seen as rivals. Vinegar is most often considered as deteriorated wine, which is not true. It is a noble ingredient in food, provided it has been well-crafted. But it is still not welcomed at some tables in Bordeaux Châteaux.

The funny thing is that ‘French dressing' was brought across the Channel by a French emigrant from noble ascendance: Monsieur d'Albignac, who sought refuge in London during the French Revolution.

As he was dining one day in a famous London tavern, he was asked by two young aristocrats if he could use his native talents to dress the salad for them....

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