Cider Revolution

I get really mad at the farmers market in winter. I know I’m not supposed to. That’s the whole point of farmers markets — you get whatever is good and in season. But in New York in January, every week seems to bring the same thing: potatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, apple cider. The thrill of stumbling upon zucchini blossoms, ramps or some other new discovery is gone.

So I’m always impressed by a winter market that can pack a surprise. Wandering around London’s Borough Market on a cold day in early January, I saw loads of booths offering hot apple cider and mulled wine (god I love that drinking outdoors and drinking in the AM are both acceptable in Europe). Then I saw one booth offering something different: mulled pear cider.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen any cider other than apple. Why is this? The pear cider was rich, warming, and just a little bit thick, like a sweet, steamy soup — the perfect thing to warm your bones on a chilly winter morning. Personally, I think it could have done with a splash of bourbon, but that’s another story.

This is just to say…why do apples get to hog all the cider glory? I’d love to see more pear cider at the markets here. Peach cider? Plum cider? Zucchini blossom cider? Bring it on.

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