Cider Pairings

Autumn Stoscheck lives on a 75 acre farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York State with her husband Ezra and their two children, Leila and Zuri, plus dogs, cats, chickens and lots and lots of apple trees. She and Ezra own and operate a certified organic cider apple orchard and cidery called Eve’s Cidery.

When we first started selling cider in 2002, almost no-one even knew what it was. When Americans heard the word “cider” they thought brown unfiltered juice in a plastic jug. A lot has changed in the past 2 decades– cider now regularly makes national media (a recent article here), and graces more and more tables each year. But we still often get asked the question: “What should I pair cider with?”. 

 
The true and easy answer would be: “Whatever you like”. But here’s a few ideas to get you inspired.
CIDER: THE NEW AMERICAN CHAMPAGNE

Don’t settle for cheap grape sparklers just because real champagne is expensive…at a fraction of the cost, well made sparkling cider is local, refreshing and handmade. The perfect aperitif with mouth-watering acidity to whet your palate, cider is just a bit lower in alcohol so you can still have wine with your dinner. Welcome your guests with cider!

CIDER AND PORK
So true it’s almost cliché. There is rarely a better choice for pork, especially when you cook it with apples.  BBQ pulled pork, slow cooked cider braised pork shoulder, cider glazed pork chops, cassoulet, charcuterie, pork buns,  sausage apples and onions….

CIDER AND CHEESE
Maybe it’s because of the reference to apples and cheese, or maybe it’s the bright acidity and soft tannins. Cider is an ideal accompaniment for cheese, from creamy chevre to cave aged cheddar to ripe brie to strong bleu. Think about pairing local cheese with local cider. Explore ideas about complimenting and contrasting. In addition to the classic cheese plate, try pairing with dishes that feature cheese like fancy grilled cheese, cheese filled crepes, cheesecake.

CIDER AND FARM FOOD
Meat and cheese are not on our table every night. As a traditional farmhouse beverage, cider is the prefect match for peasant food. What are you going to make on a summer evening as you unpack the basket from farmers market or your garden? Pair it with cider! Fresh pesto, beans and greens, grilled summer squash, vegetable soup, onion tart…

CIDER AND SPICY
Lower alcohol means less burn, and tannins help dissolve the spice. If you don’t believe me, just try it. Cider pairs especially well with curries, from Indian to Thai.

ETC.
Want more ideas for pairing food and cider? Check out the archives of Autumn’s Pairing Issue.

 
 

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