Hard cider aficionados know that craft ciders are as complex and nuanced as fine wine and as drinkable and refreshing as good beer.
But if you avoid ciders thinking they’re sweet and taste like apple juice, you’re comparing apples to oranges (so to speak).
Today’s ciders, especially those made by small-batch, artisanal producers; include a wide range of flavor profiles and vary from bone-dry to semi-sweet.
Just as different grape varieties are used to make wines with distinctive characteristics, those who brew craft ciders are intentional about what apples they use.
For example, the folks at Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum grow more than 20 varieties of traditional and heirloom apples in their organic orchard. Once harvested, the apples are fermented, blended and carbonated in their barn using, as they describe it, a combination of “ … alchemy, engineering, wishful thinking, old world wisdom, farm ingenuity and adventurous experimentation.”
Finnriver ciders are very popular among our customers and are among a handful of selections on sale right now. So pour yourself a glass of chilled cider and watch the leaves change colors as you contemplate the meaning of the saying, “The apple never falls far from the tree.”
If You Can’t get to Oktoberfest, Bring Oktoberfest to You
No plans to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich this year? That’s OK. With a few items from our market you can almost pretend you’re taking part in the world’s largest folk festival, albeit without the giant beer tents, parades, amusement rides, or six million revelers from around the world.
What we DO have is German fare! Start with world-famous cheeses from Käserei Champignon, including Rougette Bavarian Red, Limburger (see Cheese Corner, below) and the creamy soft-ripened Cambozolas. Head over to the beer case for a selection of Oktoberfest beers from German and domestic craft brewers to fill your stein.
And of course Our Own Brats, made in our Meat Markets with fresh pork. They’re big, plump and seriously delicious.
Then just put on some German oompah music, your freshly laundered lederhosen and dream of the day you’ll make it to the real Oktoberfest celebration!
We’re all Abuzz Over this Food Wrap – it’s the Bee’s Knees
We got to talking about the plastic-free food storage options in our markets while we were planning for the back-to-school season. Thus began my love affair with Bee’s Wrap, a malleable, reusable and versatile food wrap.
Invented by a mom in Vermont, it’s made with organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin.
Available in various sizes, you can use it to cover a bowl, wrap a sandwich, keep bread, cheese and veggies fresh… pretty much anything you do with plastic wrap and bags.
Wash with cool water and a bit of dish soap, dry it, and reuse. I’m telling you … this is bee-rilliant.
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
St. Mang Bavarian Limburger - just in time to celebrate Oktoberfest! This cheese really gets a bad rap for being a “stinky cheese” but it’s a classic example of your nose tricking your taste buds into thinking you won’t like it.
My advice is to pinch your nostrils and give this delicious creamy cheese a chance.
You won’t be sorry. It’s all bark and no bite when young, and only develops its earthy, meaty flavor with age.
My favorite way to enjoy Limburger is on a hearty rye cracker with pickled onions and a drizzle of red wine vinegar.
Chased with a stein of fizzy dark beer, of course.
Marketing Manager Sue Transeaux joined Town & Country Markets 23 years ago, working in Bulk Foods at the market on Bainbridge Island. She’s always watching for what’s fresh, delicious and inspiring in our markets.