The Mastery of Pairing Food with Cigars
Seeking the ultimate harmony
Cigar pairings have evolved into a pivotal aspect of the cigar culture, with aficionados consistently seeking ways to elevate their enjoyment. The most common cigar pairings often involve whisky, rum and coffee, given that individuals often enjoy a drink alongside their cigar, finding the ideal complement becomes a logical pursuit. However, cigar pairings should continue with more than just drinks, what about various types of food or hosting the perfect cigar dinner? Let’s dive into the flavour explorations!
With millions of different blends worldwide ranging from bold earthy smokes from Cuba to the sweeter spicier flavours of the New World, pairing possibilities are endless! There are three primary pairing approaches: complimentary, contrasting, and cutting. Similar flavour profiles are harmoniously matched in complementary pairings, creating a synergy between them. Contrasting pairings, on the other hand, involve seeking opposing aromas and flavours, such as combining sweet and sour elements. Additionally, cutting takes this concept to the extreme, where a flavour or aroma sharply contrasts with another, reminiscent of pairing a rich, creamy cheese with tart fruit. Here are 4 excellent complimentary food and cigar pairings you could try out the next time you’re enjoying a cigar or perhaps for hosting a cigar dinner:
1. Seafood, a rich and creamy Caviar / Light & mild smokes (Davidoff Signature 2000)
Seafood has a rich and creamy flavour profile which is more light and fragrant than a steak. So milder cigars with a delicate yet earthy taste experience like the Davidoff Signature 2000 would be a perfect match, especially with a rich and intense caviar like the Beluga Caviar.
2. Charcuterie, salami / Earthy & savoury smokes (Davidoff Escurio Robusto)
The salty and savoury notes of cured meats like prosciutto and salami provide a harmonious balance with the complexity of earthy cigars. The slight fatty and salty notes meld well with the Davidoff Escurio Robusto with its creamy and savoury profile. Elevate this with a refreshing long drink such as a whisky or a rum sour!
3. Barbequed meats, steak/lamb / Bolder & robust smokes (Bolivar Belicoso Finos)
The smokey and robust flavours of grilled or barbequed meats create an excellent pairing with many intense cigars especially blends with an oily Maduro wrapper with its dark, roasted and sweet notes. Smokes like the Bolivar Belicoso Finos with its strong and earthy flavours fold in harmoniously with the charred and caramelised notes of the meats, which enhances the richness of the cigar, creating a satisfying combination.
4. Spicy foods, Sichuan cuisine / Intense & spicy smokes (E.P. Carrillo Inch Nicaragua No. 60)
A medium-bodied cigar would be the perfect choice to balance the heat with spicy cuisine. The added strength of the cigar will help stand up to the spice whilst the flavours complement the spices in the food. The E.P. Carillo Inch Nicaragua No.60 would be a great choice with its strong peppery character and the prominent creamy caramel sweetness to balance the spiciness.
5. Chocolate or caramel-based treats / Sweet & well-aged smokes (Confidenciaal FIFTYSEVEN)
The marriage of chocolates and cigars is a match made in heaven with each enhancing the other’s flavours and creating a decadent experience. The rich complexity of dark chocolates intertwines seamlessly with the nutty creaminess and essences of rich cocoa and toffee of the Confidenciaal FIFTYFOUR and FIFTYTWO. The ultimate indulgence to finish a cigar dinner.