Why food and drink pairings aren’t just for over forty-somethings

by Caitlin Hart

The first food and drink pairing I vividly remember as a child would have to be milk and cookies. There was something magical about putting those two together. They complemented each other in ways that made them better together than apart. Meanwhile I witnessed fancy adults conversing about how this chardonnay worked with chicken and this cabernet sauvignon with steak. At 22 I mostly get this, but to be honest wine and food pairings are still a bit of a mystery to me. Wine pairing is complicated. Based on type of wine, region, year and personal taste, it can take years of reading and tasting to figure this out. Not to mention wine is expensive.

This is where beer comes in. Beer and food pairings are still relatively new to most people yet far more accessible to twenty-somethings. When pairing a beverage with food the first thought is usually wine. It’s true of my favourite publication LCBO’s Food and Drink where most recipes include a wine pairing.

Beer is way more versatile than most people give it credit for. With a wide variety of types from bitter to dessert sweet there is literally a beer for every mood and every dish. To top it off beer doesn’t have the limitations that wine does. Beer can cut through the spice in curry in ways that wine can’t.

Different oats for different folks

by Toula Nikas

Over the course of my four years at the University of Toronto I learned to never underestimate the power of the oat. In my mind, oats are a humble “superfood”. Standing next to kale and chia seeds, they’re far from attention-seekers. They’re more like, “Hey, I’ll always be there for you if you promise to take care of me.” Oats aren’t finicky. You can add them to pretty much anything—be it simple or complex—and they won’t cause any trouble. Oats also won’t draw attention to you during that early morning lecture or tutorial. They often make for smooth and chewy breakfasts—unlike the apple that both your classmates and the entire GTA can hear you crunch into.

I thought I’d do oats two ways—in muffin and in oatmeal form. Muffins: because you can make them on a Sunday evening and have them for the week. Oatmeal: because you can let it simmer on the stove while you print that last-minute assignment. I tied these two oatmeal recipes together with strawberry, coconut and banana, but they’re both versatile enough that you can play around with the additions. Walnuts? No problem. Chocolate chips? You saucy minx.