Rums are highly aromatic spirits, with some kinds containing over a 640 different aromas. These aromas are derived from the sugar cane and the fermentation process where the rum is distilled from and the wooden barrels they age in.
Foodpairing® analyzed the Zacapa XO Rum. This is a premium rum coming from the highlands of Quetzaltenango Guatemala, where it is distilled from virgin cane honey. Most rums use ‘molasses’, a by-product of the sugar making process, however Zacapa is different and uses only the concentrated first press of sugar cane, known as virgin cane honey.
Zacapa XO is aged at 2300 m above sea level, where it develops its complex flavour and character over time. Zacapa uses the solera process, with an extra ageing stage in French oak barrels which previously held cognac, to mature their rum.
FROM FOODPAIRING® TO RECIPE
The Foodpairing® Kitchen decided to create some nice desserts that perfectly match a good glass of Zacapa XO rum. Using the Foodpairing® inspiration tool, following interesting pairings popped up:
Zacapa XO – Beetroot – Dark Chocolate – Raspberry – Black Olive
The floral notes present in the Zacapa XO, derived from the sugar cane honey, pair well with the raspberry. The aromas from the wood, absorbed during the aging in the wooden barrels, form a link to chocolate and black olive.
Zacapa XO – Chocolate – Banana - Liquorice
The aromas absorbed during the aging on wooden barrels provides links to chocolate, banana and warm spices like licorice. The aging of the Zacapa on high altitude provides more intense aromas. By cooking the banana on low temperature we can enhance the banana aromas.
Dessert Zacapa XO – Rice – Vanilla – Lemongrass – Cardamom – Blueberry – Coconut
The floral notes derived from the use of sugar cane honey provides aromatic links to blueberry, lemongrass and lemon. The aromas which develop during the aging on the wooden barrels form links to coconut and vanilla.
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