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Daring Pairing: Banana and Beer

Words: Shamim de Brún

Chocolate with caviar? Strawberries on burgers? Food pairing can be mental. And mental is always tremendous fun. So every week, we will bring you a new off the wall match to try.

Great food and drink pairings create a balance between the components of a dish and the drink’s characteristics. We all know the basic ones. Wine and cheese – good. Beer and crisps – good. Whiskey and Malteasers – excellent. 

But if you want to step outside the box a little and try something mad that actually works, we have the perfect pairing for you: Weiss Beer and a banana. 

Sounds Bananas but hear me out.

Bananas and Weiss Beer both contain a nifty little organic compound called Isoamyl acetate. Isoamyl acetate is considered an ester or an alcohol and an acid combination. It’s actually in all beers, but ​​as with other esters, it is produced by yeast during fermentation and has a significant flavour impact on certain beer styles, particularly Bavarian-style wheat beers. 

Isoamyl acetate occurs naturally in both the banana plant and as a honeybee pheromone and has an incredibly pungent and recognizable banana flavour and smell.

Together these combine to make a Congruent Pairing. A congruent pairing creates balance by amplifying shared flavour compounds.

What that means for you is that the banana and the beer bring out the best in each other when consumed together. It may sound off the wall, but it’s scientifically valid. So give it a go, I dare you.

Try it:

Einsiedler Weissbier from €2.50 at BeerStore, Wine Centre, Martin’s Off Licence, Mc Hugh’s, Molloy’s, and most places with a decent craft beer selection.
Banana from 15c at Lidl, SuperValu, Spar, Fresh, Fallon and Byrne or where ever you get your fruit

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