Saturday, June 1, 2013

Delicious to the Core!

A break from rural church history and a word or two about a recent discovery that I have made that makes warm summer evenings even the more pleasurable.  Little mention has been made of the fact that I enjoy good cider.  By this I refer to what the Americans since Prohibition have called “hard” cider – apple juice that has been fermented into a delicious alcoholic beverage.  To be sipped slowly, I hasten to add.

It probably stems from my days as an Assistant Curate in Taunton, Somerset, a town surrounded by some of the best apple orchards in the country. (But here I must pay tribute also to the juice pressed from apples picked in the Saints' parishes in Suffolk!)  And the generosity of one local cider company, Sheppy's Cider, which I am happy to announce is still very successful.  Each Christmas Mrs Sheppy would deliver a case of mixed vintage cider to my curate’s abode, which was very gratefully received.  After services, naturally.

Since moving to the USA I have been disappointed in the selection of American cider, most of which is too sweet for the British palate.  I would read of small artisan cider companies, but none of their products would reach Long Island.  I even applauded the arrival of imported Bulmers Strongbow!  Considering that this brew is the Budweiser of the UK cider world that’s hardly an exciting development, but any port in a storm I suppose.

But this week I noticed a new, strangely shaped container in the local wine supermarket.  A cider, made in New York State by the Standard Cider Company, brewed from Long Island apples.  A full 750ml brown bottle with a champagne-style wired cork.  And an interesting label.

Two nights ago I sampled it.  Pale yellow and perfectly dry (it describes itself as an “off-dry sparkling cider”) it was one of the best ciders I have ever supped.  I’m sure that after a few slurps I could close my eyes and my imagination would transport me to a country lane in Somerset when my day off was Monday, I was only the assistant, and I didn’t have any grey hair.  (So it was a long time ago then.)  More please!

Oh, and the name of this cider?  True Believer.

No comments:

Post a Comment