25 September 2010

[Chestnut Beer] Pietra Biera Corsa [By Spectre] (Waitrose)

Corsica is a small island off the south of France in the Mediterranean Sea. My reliable source (Wikipedia) tells me that in 1584 the Chestnut King (governor) ordered all farmers to plant four trees a year; a chestnut tree, a fig tree, an olive tree and a mulberry-tree. It seems the chestnut trees took over and there are great forests of the damn things everywhere. Not that I’ve been to Corsica, and the photos look nice, but I hate chestnuts. I don’t like them roasted on an open fire at Christmas time or served up with sprouts and gravy. I hate sprouts too. Corsican cuisine appears to be a mix of French and Italian, mixed with chestnuts. I’m sure their restaurant menus look a bit like; starter; Roasted Chestnut Salad, main course; Stuffed Chestnuts with Chestnut Sauce, followed by; Chestnut Cake with Cream of Chestnut, and a good Chestnut Coffee to wash it down with. Apparently their chestnut bread lasts up to three weeks, probably because no one likes it. They also have chestnut beer; for the simple reason, I’m sure, they couldn’t think of any other way to use up all those chestnuts. I can just imagine every year the Chestnut Council meets in a great chestnut decked hall to brainstorm how they’ll use up all their chestnuts. An idea might be to roast the chestnuts whilst they are still on the trees. On opening the beer I was unsurprisingly struck by the whiff of chestnuts. I reluctantly took a swig and was surprised at how much I liked the strong tasting beer. The smell aside, the beer has a sweet creamy taste not dissimilar to a Milky Bar with a bite at the back of the tongue that makes you sit up and take notice. This beer might be good to wake up to with the hair of the dog or at the end of a long day to help you stay up a little longer to watch the end of a (boring) atmospheric film.

By Spectre

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