The fine pairing of good food and good whisky has existed for as long as anyone can remember. Culinary artists and food connoisseurs have praised the marriage of the two on the dinner table with an intricacy that could only have been instigated by a true match of taste and sentiments. Certain cultures across the world support the pairing of whisky and food so much, that it is almost unimaginable to have a hearty steak dinner without a measure or two of good old whisky. Frozen foods, as debated as they may be, are not exempt from this extraordinary pairing.
In 1984, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan memorialized his love for frozen foods proclaiming the 6th of March as National Frozen Food Day, a legacy that has stood the test of time and cultural drifts. The question of pairing frozen food and whisky was decidedly answered when Ronald Reagan made ripples among whisky circles in 1991. The White House has always been a welcoming host to whisky ever since President Benjamin was gifted with a cask of Dewar’s Old Highland all the way back in 1891. In 1991, keeping with the Presidential relation with the elixir, Ronald Reagan was invited to address the ‘Keepers of the Quaich’, a society that celebrates the achievements of Scotch evangelists. He was ‘Keepered’ himself on the occasion of completion of 500 years of the whisky industry.
Frozen food has had a long tradition since fishermen, trappers, and farmers began preserving their harvest in unheated storages during the winter season preventing them from going bad. The freezing slows down decomposition and is an effective form of food preservation. With the flow of time and the advent of technology in the food industry, frozen food has gone beyond the obstacles of taste preservation and frozen edibles have found their way to the more sophisticated dinner plate.
One of the most recognizable of the wide range of frozen foods is the ‘TV dinner’. The TV dinner was made popular in the 1950’s. A TV dinner would include anything from peas and carrots to fried chicken to Salisbury steaks. Although this particular kind of frozen dinner is not as common as it used to be, the TV dinner paved a way for the more present day style of frozen dinner. Considering the minimal effort required in preparation of a frozen dinner, the taste and consistency of the food remains uncompromised. Some examples of the frozen food choices are mac and cheese, enchiladas, and an exotic chicken tikka masala.
Experts of the culinary arts have spent years of effort coming up with the perfect pairing of the different types of whisky and the variety of flavours of food. The result is the perfect experience for the taste buds. For example, the classic American bourbon perfectly complements the gamey undertones of frozen meats like duck and pork and the sharp, strong taste of blue cheese. Frozen lasagnas go extremely well with the oaky nose of the bourbon. While bourbon goes hand in hand with meats and blue cheese, the peat smoky flavour of a coveted Islay scotch is a flawless companion to the subtle taste of frozen sausages and fresh goat cheese and mozzarella. Frozen food like frozen Bacon Mac and Cheese are best paired with a glass of Islay scotch. The smokiness of a dram from the distilleries of Islay also makes it perfect for balancing a sweet milk chocolate. Similarly, the maturity of the Highland distilleries can be experimented with for interesting results. The fruity flavour mixed with the heather smoke nose of the Highland malts best compliments frozen roast beef dinners and the briny taste of frozen tuna. Enchiladas with a hearty meaty filling are perfect with a good Highland Scotch.
So, this 6th of March, if you find yourself scrambling for a quick weekday dinner, look no further than your friendly neighborhood frozen food aisle. Celebrate the legacy of National Frozen Food Day with a bottle of liquid sunshine.