Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pairing cheeses with green tea

The plethora of green tea cheesecake recipes is almost proof in and of itself that green tea goes well with cheese.

Well, cheese desserts, anyway.

Now, cheese sommelier Cynthia Gold addresses this underexplored niche in the gourmet world by giving a broad overview of which teas pair well with which gourmet cheeses.

As for green tea and cheese, she write:
Soft or mild creamy cheeses partner beautifully with green teas like Japanese Sencha . . . . The clean, fresh, vegetal tones of the tea, with hints of earthy sweetness, are a wonderful balance for the light, sweet creaminess of a fresh ricotta, mascarpone, or chèvre. [emphasis mine]
But these are, after all, merely guidelines:
In the end, the rules of pairing tea and cheese are subjective. Steep for yourself.
Indeed. I recommend starting this gastronomical journey by sitting down with your favorite green tea — one of ours, maybe? — and a plate of your favorite cheeses. In fact, invite a friend or two over and make an event out of it.

At the very least, it will be an excuse to drink a lot of green tea, eat a lot of cheese, and generally have a good time with friends.

Good food, good drink, and good friends — now there's an ideal pairing.

The Monk tried Frosty Garden with some gruyère, fresh goat cheese, and red Leicester (left to right). The green tea's sweet, clean flavor blended superbly with the sharp taste and light creaminess of the gruyère and the red Leicester but was overpowered by the rich, salty creaminess of the goat cheese.

—Mellow Monk


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

An old rooftop in Aso

Here's a picture I took next door to where we filmed the kama-iri scene in Kyushu, Where Japan's Green Tea Grows.

—Mellow Monk


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Another way green tea keeps off the pounds

Green tea's ability to prevent obesity has been established, although researchers are still trying to determine how, on a molecular level, green tea does it.

Now, a researcher at Penn State has found one such molecular mechanism.

Joshua Lambert, an associate professor of food science, has found that the green tea polyphenol EGCG inhibits the release of a pancreas enzyme that helps digest and absorb fat.

Note that this is just one of the ways green tea inhibits weight gain — there are apparently many others.

Looks like some thoughtful dad is pouring some Crimson Grove, our black tea made from tea plant cultivars bred specifically for green tea.

—Mellow Monk


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