Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Restaurants: Learn

Do not forget this: The difference between Cider and "Hard Cider" is the difference between a tomato and ketchup. And please don't ask me explain the difference between true cider and freshly pressed/ unfermented apple juice!

Does the ketchup analogy sound extreme? Well, it is not. In fact, the more one investigates the products the more the comparison becomes eerily accurate. Ultimately, one discovers that true cider (or just "cider") and "hard cider" are so different that they really don't belong in the same aisle at the supermarket, and the mere proximity to one another on a menu is an insult. It is a failure to represent simplicity, nature, and the truth to the customer.

Is it possible for a dedicated vintner and wine producer outside of Lyon to produce an inexpensive drink that appeals to American tastes, enough to stock every restaurant, grocery store and 7eleven in North America? Logistically, of course not. True wine can't be made that way. But "wine coolers" can be. Wine coolers are not wine. Hard cider is not cider.

If a restaurant wants to offer a range of ciders they should put true ciders under the wine category and the hard ciders under the beer category. Beer is a recipe, variations occur in the factory; wine is a crop, the variations are achieved in the field.

I am an advocate for the continued success and rise of hard cider. But a true cider maker should not concern themselves with that market. It, like any market, may rise or fall, but cider is forever. 
I am an advocate for hard cider because I am advocate for farmers. And there are a lot of unused culinary apples out there. But I repeat: Hard cider and cider are two different products. They are intended to satisfy very different needs. It is very important for Americans to learn that difference, which again is vast: From the farm, to the processing, to the market and ultimately in it's culinary place. But what is most important is getting the words right: "Hard cider" describes a concoction, like beer, or wine coolers; "Cider" describes an apple harvest from apples specific to cider. Like wine.

Keep thinking about tomatoes and ketchup next time you consider the fermented apple. Keep thinking about it,and thank my friend Amy for the great metaphor!...

Friday, December 4, 2015

You still there?

Readers of this blog- both of them- will note the dwindling frequency of posts over the years. That's not because I'm running out of opinions! It has more to do with my lack of enthusiasm voicing shared opinions, now that the larger food trend has swung my direction. Increasingly people are leaving the city, starting agricultural-related businesses, and finding a spiritual connection to the land. It's not on me to constantly post my journey now that so many "in this trend" are armed with marketing and social media backgrounds. They do professionally what I do as a diary.
But I vow to keep occasionally posting on this page simply to voice the opinions which are too verbose for my more frequented Facebook account. (I all but gave up on Twitter for its forced brevity of thought. I suppose it's more designed for "connecting", which has always been my Achilles heal.) So if both of you are still alive, rejoice: Another posting! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

AB Cider Varieiteis (at least, how I think of them)

 Most people simply drink cider in the situations they assume appropriate. Being comfortable with something is good thing, and one should ultimately enjoy cider and wine by personalizing it to situations, but I think we tend to get stuck in routines which prevent us from discovering certain qualities and the drink's full potential.  I'm anxious to hear when and where you find the ciders most appropriate, but for now here are my thoughts...

-Ginger Cider is, to me, a summer drink best chilled and drank during the day. It's bubbly and gingery and our nearest thing to not dry. It is a "walking around" cider.  
-Appinette is a Champagne drinkers cider. It too can be a walking around cider but it's very, very good with foods, especially beginning courses. Switch to Elderberry for the latter dinner.
-Elderberry cider is like a light-bodied red-wine but deep in heavy characteristics: woody and berry notes. It's the ultimate table/ food drink. 
-Homestead Perry is a "study it" experience. Blind fold yourself and drink it slow. Go where it goes.
-Homestead Apple (all of them) is the same way. It goes great with foods, especially buttery rich foods, but it's a real interesting drink to evaluate on it's own.
-Homestead Crabapple is what we would all drink if it could be mass-produced. I seriously doubt that there is a drink in existence that can compete with the vitality or complexity, while still remaining drool-over drinkable. Sorry, no way to shark-tank this drink (and keep the authenticity.)

If you want a party/ "having-company" cider: Ginger and Appinette
Pure dinner cider: Appinette, Elderberry cider, and Homestead apple or crabapple
Cider for cider's sake: all of the Homestead ciders and perry.