Of canes in Madrid

As I have mentioned on other occasions, Madrid It has, at the moment, perhaps the best gastronomic offer in the world (at least, that I know of). But what I would like to highlight today is that, along with the great restaurants, the starry and sunny ones, Madrid’s great gastronomic offer is found in the bars and taverns, those places where people go to “drink beers”.

Both the people of Madrid and those who visit us prefer, for the most part, to take tapas and rods in a relaxed environment that allows them to have a pleasant conversation. No doubt, too, because they are more affordable Under the economical point of view.

Therefore, I think it is time to begin to know the beer culture and that the people of Madrid are able to choose between the infinite possibilities that they offer us.

Beers in the gastronomy of the 21st century

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to carry out a book with the collaboration and sponsorship of Mahou San Miguel: “Beers in the gastronomy of the 21st century” (Ed. Lunwerg, Planet).

The first thing I wanted to emphasize is that you have to talk about beers in the plural and not in the singular. There is an extraordinary variety of beers, almost as many as wines and, therefore, a multitude of possibilities to choose between one and the other. For this reason, it makes no sense to go to a bar or a tavern and ask for a pressure or bottled beer, without further ado.

In the book, we did a classification of beers from the gastronomic point of view. Depending on various parameters such as intensity, color or degree of alcohol, beers can be classified into 6 big groupsfrom the mild to the most intense, toasted and caramelized.

Of course, there are other ways of classifying beers into different typologies, but this classification, which takes into account sensory characteristics, allows us to easily identify the different beers and choose the most suitable harmonies with the food. It is also very useful when choosing the type of glass, how to store them, how to serve them or the ideal temperature.

Cover of the book ‘Beers in the gastronomy of the 21st century’. (Planet)

Harmonies of beer with food

In this way, each type of beer harmonizes better with certain dishes or food.

A beer soft, refreshing and light, for example, goes well with Spanish appetizers, such as potato omelette, anchovies in vinegar or anchovies, due to its refreshing power. A beer intense and bitter it can be combined better with pasta dishes, fish in sauces and with white and stewed meats; while one more beer mature and deep It would go well with red and game meats, stews and roasts. Beer toasted and caramelized It can accompany desserts, especially chocolate and caramel, or grilled meats.

Some of the great Spanish chefs collaborated on the book with two recipes: one in which beer was an ingredient and the other to drink with beer. This is something that France has already done with its wines. Dishes were prepared in which champagne or Burgundy wine were the ingredients. The usual rule was that, when a dish incorporated some type of drink, the ideal was to accompany it with it. For example, a champagne sole should be taken with champagne, while a ‘coq au vin’ made with Burgundy would be taken with the same wine. Well, something similar happens with beers.

Although the book is practically out of print, perhaps it would be a good idea to prepare a new edition, updating it.

Several people toasting with beer. (Freepik)

The reeds and the conversation

Naturally, in almost 10,000 bars and taverns in Madrid, you can have, in addition to the beers, other types of drinks. And, of course, in all of them there are appetizers (what in other regions are called tapas or pintxos). The Macarfi Guide collects some of the main places in Madrid where you can go to have tapas and beers.

But the most characteristic and unique thing about these places, and it is perhaps what tourists appreciate the most, is that one can be talking quietly, either standing or sitting on a stool, even with the person behind the bar or the who is sitting next to you.

That is how the world of bars and taverns, the world of the bar and tapas, facilitates conversation, relationships and friendship.

As I have mentioned on other occasions, Madrid It has, at the moment, perhaps the best gastronomic offer in the world (at least, that I know of). But what I would like to highlight today is that, along with the great restaurants, the starry and sunny ones, Madrid’s great gastronomic offer is found in the bars and taverns, those places where people go to “drink beers”.

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