Whether you smoke cigars while you eat – or after you eat, there really is a school of thought when it comes to proper pairing of the elements. Now you might say, so what, who cares, this is the cigar I like and I’m smoking it. But I’m here to tell you that you really should care because the experience can be a great one, or it can really suck if you do it all wrong. Yeah, you really can do it wrong and we want you to avoid that at all costs!
The bottom line: You want your food and your cigar choices to compliment each other, because if they don’t, it can be a lousy experience and I’ll tell you why. If you’re having a lighter meal like pasta or shrimp, well you don’t want to fire up strong or powerful cigars like the Camacho Triple Maduro or an LFD Chisel. Bolder cigars will simply cover up the flavor of your lighter meal and you just won’t enjoy it. Now, if you’re having a heavier meal like steak or barbecue ribs, you don’t want to light up a mild cigar, say something with a light and sweet Connecticut wrapper. As delicious as the Alec Bradley Medalist or a Davidoff Signature is, you know what, you’ll never really taste those milder smokes because the bolder food will smother their flavors. That would be pretty unenjoyable and most unfortunate, if you ask me.
Foods that are lighter on the palate, like maybe chicken or lobster, well, you can smoke a mild to medium bodied cigar and it will pair just fine. When I have, say a nice sweeter seafood, I’ll choose a lighter maduro, like a CAO Gold Maduro or an Ashton Aged Maduro because of their natural sweetness. Trust me, they’ll go wonderful together.
If you’re having spicy food, like barbecue ribs, pulled pork or smoked brisket, you want bolder, full bodied smokes that stand up to the awesome chow. Something like a fuller bodied Dunbarton Sobremesa or maybe a Joya de Nicaragua Dark Corojo are great choices because you’ll still taste those flavorful sticks along with the amazing food choices.
But if you’re doing steaks, or chops or burgers, you can come down a little off the strength to a medium/full-bodied cigar like an Aroma de Cuba or a Kristoff Corojo. Oh yeah, I say!
Now breakfast is a most interesting time for a good cigar, and you’ll want to pair up the right smoke with the right food here as well. Having eggs, a veggie omelet, or toast and coffee, mild to medium bodied Connecticut Shade cigars will do well in the flavor department. But if you’re adding in bacon or sausage, then you should up your cigar to medium, even medium/full like a Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro, once again, so the meal and the sticks compliment each other well.
You know what? I love to eat good food and I love to smoke good cigars, so I’m telling you that pairing them up properly will really make for a heck of an enjoyable time. Make a real experience out of it like I do, and life will be just a little more fun, and seriously, what could be wrong with that? Nothing – the answer is absolutely nothing! – Salute