Last year I talked about pumpkin spice latte that is all the rage for autumn, but this season has another super popular drink. That beverage is apple cider. When hearing cider, many Japanese people imagine it to be a type of soda, but it is actually not carbonated. Apple cider is juice made by squeezing apples. It is different from apple juice because it is not filtered, so the drink is actual apple. It looks different too; apple juice is a yellowish color while apple cider has a more brownish tone. During autumn you can buy apple cider at the grocery store, of course, but you can also get particularly delicious apple cider at the farmer’s market.
The other day, I headed out for the nearby market in search of apple cider. Well, I actually planned to go apple picking in this apple orchard, but all of the apples had already been harvested for the year... Nevertheless, there was a ton of fresh apples that had just been picked!
There were all types of apples that varied from strongly sour to sweet, with different varieties being suitable for cooking, desserts, applesauce, apple butter, and so on. At this market, you can buy about 20 different varieties of apples. There were also loads of products made with apples for sale, like caramel apples, apple pie, and apple dumplings.
I, naturally, bought some of the apple cider I am so fond of.
Telling me all the delicious facts about apple cider, the clerk at the cash register said smiling, “Is it your first time trying this apple cider? I am positive you will like it!!”
The apple cider you can get at the grocery store is certainly good, but the kind you can get at the farmer’s market is fresher and richer. At this particular market, apples harvested from the adjacent orchard are pressed and bottled at a mill right in the shop.
(This photo was taken through the glass.)
When drinking apple cider, I somehow feel a sense of autumn. There is no sugar added, so it is naturally sweetened from the apples and it is absolutely delicious. I downed it all before I realized it, and completely forgot to take a photo of it. This apple cider has cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange peel, and other ingredients added before it is warmed to be drunk as hot apple cider. It warms your body and makes you feel a sigh of contentment. It is perfect for times when you have caught a cold or are feeling under the weather. Now that I think about it, when I was sick, my grandmother in Japan would often grate apples and make me freshly squeezed juice.
Similar to the Johnny Appleseed Festival 2016 I blogged about last year, there are many apple harvest festivals in this area at this time of year. If you visit North America in autumn, I recommend going to an apple harvest festival. And, of course, do not forget to try some fresh apple cider!