Eggplant Parmigiana and Southern Tier Pale Wheat Ale

Eggplant Parmigiana and 422 Pale Wheat AleWhat do you match the beer with?  That is the central question you always have to answer.  In this case, the dish was Eggplant Parmigiana.  Now, eggplant is not a vegetable with a large taste.

Eggplant ParmigianaSo, how do you match a beer to a dish whose central ingredient does not contribute substantially to the overall taste?  In this case, I matched the sauce and Italian bread crumbs used on the eggplant to give it more texture.

The sauce I used was very simple:  tomatoes, onions, and a ton of spices including oregano, lemon-pepper, basil, and bay leaves.  Those seasonings and the seasoning in the Italian bread crumbs and the sweetness from the tomatoes and onions needed a beer with a touch of sweetness and the lightness of the eggplant suggested a lighter beer.  That’s why I choose the Southern Tier 422 Pale Wheat Ale.

First off, the dish was good.  Eggplant is not my favorite vegetable.  However, eggplant parmesan is a good dish.  Not great and I
think that goes back to the sauce.  It was not filled with as much flavor as I had hoped.  I think there will need to be some changes to the recipe to make the dish a little better.  If you like onions it is a great recipe, but I would have preferred more tomato sauce.  Even with the breadcrumbs the eggplant did not contribute much the taste of the dish.

This was my first attempt at eggplant parmesan as well as the first time I had the 422 Pale Wheat Ale.  It almost tastes like a Hefeweizen or other German style wheats, but it doesn’t have the banana/clove taste from yeast and fermentation.  That was probably a plus.  It still has the wheat sweetness and bread notes that matched the sweetness of the sauce and the bread crumbs.  It has a nice refreshing taste and mouthfeel.

Southern Tier 422 Pale Wheat AleThe thing that I am finding is that lighter beers, pale ales, wheat beers, blond ales, work better for Italian dishes then darker beers.  Maybe a brown ale or barley wine would work.  India Pale Ales should also work, but double IPAs maybe too much for a dish like this.  A bigger beer might work for lasagna.

Will I try this combination again?  Probably.  It was successful as the beer worked well with the dish, but the dish was not as good as it will be once I work on a new sauce recipe.


One Response to “Eggplant Parmigiana and Southern Tier Pale Wheat Ale”

  1. […] a pale wheat ale, but since it is a Lagunitas brew it is a hoppy pale wheat, much hoppier then the Southern Tier 422.  The 422 might go a little better because without the hops it would provide more of a complement […]

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