It’s not too alcoholic, it contains many antioxidants, a lot of calcium and potassium and it’s digestive...here are the reasons why cider should be on your table.
The history of cider, a fermented beverage made of apple juice, dates back in the history. We know that Romans used to brew alcohol from apples and that in the middle ages monasteries in Europe brewed their own cider.
After the Norman conquest of England good variety of apples arrived in Europe and cider became popular.
In the 16th and 17th centuries many apple orchards were planted in England. Colonists who left for the new world brought apple trees with them, but even if cider became then very popular in United States, the prohibitionism and the introduction of German beer (which was more easily produced thanks to German immigrants who opened breweries) caused a cider’s fall in popularity. In Europe, too, cider making industry registered a decline, due to agricultural changes.
Today cider is back, pretty much everywhere in Europe but United States too, probably because of the constant search for new drinks that in daily life can substitute wine or beer (the drink can contain 4% alcohol up to 8%).
Cider can be produced with different kind of apples (there is a variety called cider apple) and through different fermentation time. Like another curious drink, sake, the color and taste resulting for cider is also due to the amount of filtering between pressing and fermentation.
So don’t worry if your cider is cloudy: it doesn’t mean it’s not as good as the clear one!
This range of possibilities allows each country to personalize it and to create it following consumers’ needs, spanning from a dry taste to a sweet one.
Cider can also be the base to create other drinks: did you know that delicious Calvados, from Normady, France, is made from double distillation of cider?
French cidre is produced mostly in Normandy and Brittany, but some is also made in south western France, in the French part of Basque Country.
Spain, too, is a big fan of cider: in Northern Spain, in the Principality of Asturias and in the Basque Country, is considered the traditional drink and several events are organized around it. So much so, in fact, that special bars have been set – called “sidrerias” – dedicated to it (but here it’s also possible to taste other kinds of drinks).
United Kingdom is so into cider that it registered the highest per capita consumption of cider, and has as well the largest cider-producing companies in the world. They have two different ways to produce it: one creates a stronger kind of cider (made of true cider-apples juice), the other is lighter and clearer (made of culinary or dessert fruit).
In Italy it wasn’t very common, but it’s now such a trend that you can even find a dedicated sidreria in Milan, La Sidreria (Via Corelli 31). This place has a history: back in time, in 1346, was called “Hosteria del Oppio” and was supplying foodstuffs to passers-by. Today this place is an historical roadhouse that brought back cider’s tradition as it was in the past in the North of Italy.
But whether you are in Italy or not, why should you drink it?
Because it’s healthy !
It contains many antioxidants, a lot of calcium and potassium and it’s digestive. It is not too alcoholic, so it can still pair perfectly with your lunch. Would you be able to say the same for what you usually drink?
Next time you are just about to open a soda (or grab a glass of wine), think twice: cider is the new fashion!
Written by Elisa della Barba