Every so often, Sam makes these wonderful savory scones incorporating her latest food finds. Readers of Sam’s blog (at sugaronfrontst.com) will already know that there is a new Farmers Market in Wilmington at Ogden Park and we’re taking part! This gives us a chance to see all our farming friends on a weekly basis and get first dibs on their produce, cheese, herbs, etc….
So, last week, Sam brings back this fantastic roasted red pepper goat cheese from Bill and Tina at Nature’s Way Farm and Seafood just minutes away in Hampstead. Go see them, take the kids, play with the goats, and get some cheese.
Sam combined this with rosemary from our very own island herb garden to make a buttery, melt in your mouth savory scone. It was, as I mentioned above, characteristically wonderful. The herbal quality of the rosemary and the sweetness of the savory cheese go so well together. I especially enjoyed the caramelized bits of goat cheese on the outside!
That was breakfast. But luckily, I stashed a couple away for later.
Fast forward a few hours…. It’s the end of the work day at the Bakery, and time to deal with other pressing issues. Such as, what beer should I have with my scone? I may have slightly exaggerated how pressing this issue actually was. I was thinking something hoppy and herbal… but with a nice malt backbone to pair up to the biscuity texture and savory flavors.
One of my favorite hoppy pale ales (sorry, it’s not a session IPA), comes from Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, NC. Wicked Weed bills this beer as “a small statured Pale Ale” with a Napoelon Complex, an imaginatively accurate description for this massively dry-hopped creation. I had this beer with dinner the last time we visited the Asheville area, and I couldn’t wait for it to be available in Coastal NC so we could have it in the Bakery.
Napoleon Complex is richly golden in color with a nicely balanced malt backbone and medium to high carbonation. It has a great hop aroma and flavor, as would be expected from the generous contributions of Amarillo, Simcoe, Chinook, and Columbus hops. When you consider the piney, herbal, earthy notes from these hops; it’s not surprising they harmonize so well with the rosemary in the scones. And you need a decent malt backbone to stand up this level of hoppiness, not too sweet with a nice dry finish. These qualities also work well with the biscuity texture of the scone and sweet/roasted pepper notes from the goat cheese.
All in all, a fine experience from start to finish. The beer serves to lift up the flavors of the scone creating a memorable pairing.