Apple Cider or Apple Juice

I grew up in New England and loved to drink dark brown apple cider, fresh from the local apple orchard. Supermarkets have jugs saying they’re apple cider, but the juice is nowhere near as dark (or tasty) as the cider I drank.

Based on what I’ve read at the Straight Dope and on Wikipedia, there isn’t a clear legal definition of apple cider, so bottling companies are permitted to make apple juice and call it cider. It’s a real shame.

If you ever get the chance to have real apple cider, you’ll understand what I’m talking about when I say there’s no comparison. What you get at the supermarkets isn’t nearly as good as the unpasteurized cider from an apple orchard.


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  1. I grew up a block away from an apple orchard. It’s still there and I try to time my visits to my parents’ house in the fall. Or hope my mother froze some to drink at Christmas.

    Comment by Amira on March 4, 2008 @ 6:48 pm
  2. Amira: Hey, I never thought of freezing it. That’s a good idea!

    Comment by dan on March 5, 2008 @ 8:46 am
  3. I was raised on real apple cider. There was this local family who opened a small shop to sell all their home grown produce, some baked goods, candies and apple cider.

    It’s hard to find good apple cider these days.

    Comment by Mel on March 5, 2008 @ 12:46 pm
  4. Your comment reminded me that we have a potential source of apple cider close by. They had apple donuts and candies but I don’t recall seeing any apple cider while we were there. We’ll have to go back to investigate.

    And I agree, it’s very hard to find good apple cider. I wonder if there’s a market for it online, shipped directly from the local shops that can still sell it.

    Comment by dan on March 5, 2008 @ 1:23 pm
  5. I love apple cider too and we go to Apple Hill every year in October so I always bring back 2 gallons and finish it within a week. I also grab an uncooked, frozen apple pie for later in the year.

    Comment by Rick on March 6, 2008 @ 4:26 pm
  6. I’ll definitely get a few gallons of apple cider next time we go to Apple Hill. A frozen apple pie sounds good too. :)

    Comment by dan on March 6, 2008 @ 4:44 pm
  7. I like cider, but am personally not a fan of the pieces or “dregs” of apple material down at the bottom. About freezing it, I guess one freezing cycle won’t do it, but freezing cider can also result in alcoholic hard cider.

    Comment by Dave Hersam on November 17, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

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