POV: Overthinking Your Picnic
Written by Molly Goldwater
As the temperature rises and the air gets heady - one thought keeps cropping up here at Two Belly… Why does food and drink taste so much better outside?
This article is really all about cheese and beer, and the particular joys of some of these together when the sun is shining. But first, the most important pairing of all…the great outdoors.
Humans thrive outside, and fresh air and nature tap straight into that primal part of us - our nervous system. It slows us, and works at dialling down that fight-or-flight.
This allows our ‘parasympathetic system’ (aka rest and digest) to take over, and as the name suggests, we are then allowed mental and physical space to truly absorb the experience.
So that’s pairing number one done. Just go ahead and throw a picnic blanket right down in the middle of it.
Then let’s start with the cheese.
It might help to pick a theme when choosing cheeses. Let’s go seasonal, as we’re on the topic of the great outdoors.
Like wine with ‘terroir’ - you are tasting the land. As the rainfall, soil, sun and fields change, so does the milk, and so our cheese.
We’ve got Gruyère Suisse AOP in the shop right now, which - alongside most alpines - is only made in the summer months when cattle can graze on the blossoming Alps. As a result, the curd is floral and fruity with all that summer flavour. Perfect.
Keeping it closer to home, head to our dip fridge where soft fluffy goats cheeses are in their prime. Goats and sheep have a shorter lactation cycle than cows, and make most of their milk come Spring. A brightness is imparted from feeding on young grass and flowers, kept down to earth with a herbaceous edge.
Last but not least, our beers.
To keep on the theme (we are committed by this point) let’s go old school and pick a Saison - Saison DuPont perhaps. Historically brewed to keep seasonal farm workers going (imagine you are equally deserving while lying on your picnic blanket), they are dry with a carbonated bite, earth, fruit and citrus. Perfect with the nutty and earthy Gruyère.
It would be rude not to go a little sour too - which has to be the king of thirst quenching flavours. So how about La Susina, a collaboration of wild ales by Little Pomona and Burum Collective. Using foraged plums and some borrowed wine making methods, you can expect flavours of juicy peach skins and lemon rind.
If Dorstone is like a whipped cheesecake, this beer is your fruit coulis.
Still a 10% chance of rain, best get out and enjoy that now.