It’s never been more popular to buy sustainably produced food and drink direct from the producer
People are enjoying local and ‘real’ food more now than ever and with that demand comes interest in what is contained in the food, or rather what isn’t. As well as where it is made and the methods used to create the final product.
This is certainly the case for traditional real cider.
So lets define what’s contained in real cider:
- Hand or hydraulically pressed apple juice
- Water to make up volume – but no more than 15% of the cider, otherwise the cider is no longer defined as ‘real’
- Aspartine (nutrasweet) may be added to a cider to sweeten it if the apples are ‘dry’
- Larger cider producers like Weston’s use sulphites to preserve the ciders longer on the shelves of shops
- Cider that has been fermented in oak barrels that previously contained rum or whisky will have traces of the spirit which you’ll be able to taste – this adds to the flavour, eg: Kingston Black cider
What’s not in real cider:
- Real cider has not been pasteurised* or concentrated
- E numbers
- Excessive water
* Some cider’s may be heat treated to halt further microbial degradation of the cider.
Benefits of drinking real cider:
- Researchers have found that cider apples contain high levels of phenolic acids, which have the potential to protect our bodies against cancer, strokes and coronary heart disease. One has to remember, of course, that just because a limited amount of something is good for you – let us say two pints – it doesn’t mean that 10 pints is five times as beneficial.
- Traditional ciders are nearly always stronger and taste more strongly of apples(!) than mass producer ciders
- Real cider is suitable for a gluten-free, vegan and coeliac diet
- Cider is the most ecological alcoholic drink
- You are protecting a traditional form of countryside management and local wildlife
- You are helping to stop pubs from closing