One Monday evening in March we were invited to the White Horse (AKA the Sloany Pony) in Parson’s Green to try out some unusual drink pairings with Mr Trotter’s bar snacks. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. Pork scratchings aren’t something that I eat often; in fact, I’d be pushed to recall the last time that I did so. We were introduced to the brand and told that these scratching are produced from English pigs, so are free-range with variable skin thickness making them somewhat of a challenge to produce economically (the Danish indoor kept pigs produce watery bacon and an even skin thickness as they don’t get to roam around or roll in the mud). The scratchings are triple fried to produce a wonderful crisp product without the fatty underside.
We started with the original crackling accompanied by the brand’s own Great British Chestnut Ale. This worked well and in many ways is what you’d expect to have with crackling, but the revelation came with the Tattinger Brut Reserve; if you’d have asked me prior to this, I’d have said not to sully the taste of the champagne, but I’d have been wrong. The saltiness of the crackling and the dryness of the wine worked really well.
Alongside Mr Trotter’s Jalapeno Chilli Crackling (not for the faint-hearted, this had quite a chilli kick) we sampled Sipsmith Sloe Gin, the sweetness of which softened the chilli hit. We also tried a biodynamic orange wine from the Languedoc, La Maceration du Soula Blanc L14, which I loved on its own, but with the chilli flavoured snack it changed character to become softer and sweeter.
We then moved away from the crackling to other snacks. Firstly we had a lovely English fizz from Hampshire, Jenkyn Place Blanc de Noirs and a Louis Jadot Coteaux Bourguignons Gamay/Pinot Noir with Mr Trotter’s original Sausalami. Followed by Mr Trotter’s Cracked Black Pepper Sausalami with Tequila, the hotness of the tequila worked well with the spicy snack.
We were then treated to a very well-made (read strong) martini by Sipsmith, rather ingeniously they used crushed crisps instead of salt around the top of the glass.
To be honest, not having eaten a proper meal beforehand, we were a little tipsy by now! We tried a selection of crisps; original, English Mustard, and Jalapeno Chilli, all of which were excellent (and all accompanied by other alcohol). Oz Clarke joined us, and we had a lovely chat, although the content of which I suspect is rather fuzzy for all of us!
These are fabulous snacks to go with drinks, far above the standard so frequently offered in bars and pubs. If see these, you must try them, they actually taste of what they say they do. Or you can find them on-line through the Mr Trotter’s website