What foodie doesn’t love the splendor of summer at the farmer’s market?
End of summer is decadent with colorful fruit & veg. Mountains of tart & juicy peaches, sunny corn and bright red tomatoes. We love the simplest of gourmand pleasures – a lazy meander around the local farmer’s market to inspire lunch & dinner.
Pairing the right glass with simply prepared fruit & veg can take the season’s flavors to new heights. Though you may not realize it, cider is a perfect choice. Why? It’s a natural collaboration. Cider is made from fruit too! And heritage cider is delicate and nuanced – it will complement, not overwhelm, delicate fresh flavors the way that wine can, with its higher ABV.
The joy is in the discovery. Here are a few pairing suggestions to get you on your way… Stock up on a few bottles now, so you are well stocked for your next stroll through the farmer’s market.
The envy of the season, sun-ripened tomatoes are a joy to behold. Aromatic, flavorful and bright – they are jolly red orbs that need nothing more than to be sliced and sprinkled with a little olive oil. Or casually add a little mozzarella and a crackling of salt & pepper to create a simple Caprese salad. The bright acidity of tomatoes matches beautifully with a similarly bright heritage cider. We love Verde from Orchard Hill Cider Mill. A crisp, sparkling and citrusy cider, with a zippy finish, it brings bring out the mouth-watering joy of summer tomatoes.
You notice the scent first. The enchanting aroma of ripe peaches. It’s a brief window when peaches are soft, juicy and deeply delcious. That intense juicy tartness pairs deliciously with a stronger cider on the sweet side. Our pick is a pommeau, which is a French-inspired blend of cider and apple brandy. You can’t do better than Rosy Pommeau by Alpenfire Cider, near the Puget Sound, WA. Sweet yet piquant, this sip is drenched in fruit and honey notes with a gorgeous juicy, floral aroma that will make your peaches somehow peachier. Sip this in a champagne flute and serve it at “red wine” temperature, so you can enjoy the aroma. For a decadent spin, throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream over grilled peach slices and drizzle a touch of this on top. Heaven!
The #1 reason to go to the farmer’s market every summer weekend – a pile of corn earns to shuck and throw on the grill. The simplest of dishes, with a little butter rubbed on and a dash of salt, roasted corn is happy sunny food. That gorgeous crunchy mix of salty and sweet sings with a tart, sweet heritage cider like Eaglemount’s Rhubarb Cider. It’s a ying yang pairing. Its balanced sweetness and rhubarb twang complement corn’s natural sweetness while contrasting the savory flavors – bringing out the best of each. Cheers!
The melon! Tragically misrepresented in hard chunks in cheap fruit salads, summer melons are an under-appreciated treasure. From honeydew to cantaloupes to Crenshaw melons to watermelons – the soft perfumed flesh of summer ripe melon is a joy on its own. You can enjoy the nuanced flavors of melon with a delicious like-for-like pairing of semi-sweet sparkling heritage cider. Our pick is La Sainte Terre by Slyboro. This is an opulent, sparkling semi-sweet cider bursting with notes of tropical fruit, pear and honeydew melon with dry floral notes. Together they are luscious, yet utterly simple.