Small Bites: May Food News
The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has once again purchased select barrels of spirits to fit the season. This time it’s tequila, just in time for Cinco de Mayo and perfect for enjoying a few lovely margaritas or paloma cocktails made at home.
First, a little lesson. Joven tequilas are usually bottled immediately following distillation, but can be aged anywhere from two months to a year. Reposado, meaning rested, tequilas are typically aged between two months and 11 months in American or French oak wood barrels. The spirit takes on a golden hue, and the agave is balanced by the flavor from the wood. The words “extra” or “double” imply that the aging process was longer. Añejo, or extra-aged tequila, is stored in wood barrels for more than a year, giving it a darker hue and a smoother flavor profile. Extra Añejo is aged more than three years, giving it a mahogany hue and extremely smooth flavor. Because of the high alcohol content, it is diluted with water before bottling.
Barrel-aged tequilas now available at state liquor stores include: from Patrón, three choices of Añejo ($61.99) and one Reposado ($49.99); Herradura, two choices of Double Reposado ($49.99); Casa Noble, Extra Añejo ($129.99), Reposado ($57.99) and Joven ($44.99).
Tasting a Tequila
These finely crafted tequilas are not meant to gulp and swallow. Casa Noble brand ambassador David Yan Gonzalez offers these tips:
- Start by just letting the spirit wet your lips. Savor.
- Allow the spirit to sit on the inside of your mouth, but just the upper and lower gums. Savor.
- Finally, allow the spirit to reach the back of your tongue and throat. Savor.
Gonzalez says you are now ready to enjoy a fine tequila, or to use this method to enjoy any other quality spirit.
Paloma: Simply add an ounce or two of tequila and the juice of one lime to bottle of Squirt (available at Market Basket). Hola, Cinco de Mayo!
Tom Puskarich is back on the scene as chef of Restoration Cafe in the new The Flats @ Hanover Commons apartments at 235 Hanover St. in Manchester. The menu is forward-looking and focused on health with fresh salads, interesting açai bowls and signature cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices. Outdoor courtyard seating is available during warm weather. The café offers breakfast and lunch, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and an evening tapas and a light dinner menu that begins on May 1. restorationcafenh.com
Event of the Month
A Taste of Cabonnay: May 25 (which is also National Wine Day)
Enjoy wines from M.S. Walker and taste a preview of the spring menu at Cabonnay restaurant in Manchester. Petite versions of appetizers and entrées will be prepared by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Chris Viaud and Pastry Chef Aurelien Blick.
Blick, from the Champagne region of France, started his training at age 14 and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Viaud recently won a regional young chef competition.
The event is produced by the Friends of Symphony NH, and proceeds benefit classical music education outreach programs and concerts in Nashua, Keene and Concord. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Event includes a silent auction and live music. Tickets are $70 and available at symphonynh.org.