When it comes to beers, I’m a late bloomer. Don’t get me wrong, I tried it, but it was either too bitter, hoppy, warm, bubbly or just “too much liquid to get a good buzz”. Trust me, I used every excuse to avoid drinking beer. Then all of a sudden, about four years ago I decided to give beer another shot.
Apparently my taste pallet had evolved. I noticed that I was becoming more adventurous in my food selection. I was exploring various wines and a vast array of cheeses. Sweet and creamy cheeses like brie, port and truffle to the pungent ones like gorgonzola.
So one day I tried my luck with beer (again). I was at a family party and my dad had been asked to chop down the Lechón (Filipino national dish – slow roasted pig). I kept him company while he did so. He started chopping it up; first, the ham, then the rump and loins enough for a full tray to serve the guests. He sampled a piece of the lechón and washed it down with some beer. Not sure what it was, but he made it look good. Enough to try and I did.
Lechon + Beer = Pulutan
Lechón is perfect for pulutan. According to my dad, the definition of pulutan is as follows … Pulutan is a munchie like quick finger food snack while consuming alcoholic beverages. For Filipinos, it is usually something fried or roasted and spicy so drinkers will tend to continue drinking. The American equivalents are peanuts or chips. Drinking on an empty stomach will get you drunk fast, so it is a good idea to have pulutan while drinking to keep you from immediately getting drunk. Plus, it helps wash away the bad taste of alcohol for me.
On this particular day the beer available was Pacifico. It was still bitter, but not as bitter as I had remembered. The salt from the lechón also helped mask the bitterness of the beer. I ate some more, then I drank some more. The flavors were mixing and seducing my taste buds and they liked it. Before I knew it, I had finished my beer and I wanted more. More food and more beer.