[nafex] Re: Scrumpy
dwoodard at becon.org
Thu Dec 27 05:24:04 EST 2001
--- In nafex at y..., "Helga and Bert Dunn" <helbert at i...> wrote:
> When in UK some years ago, I asked for 'scrumpi" in small town
taverns. My impression-bone dry, bitter, hugh in tannin[---just
superb!! In our party of three I was the only scrumpi enthusiat.
> Have tried to duplicate it for some years- can only get 1/2 way
there- will keep trying. Have bought 6-7 store bought varieties, none
IMO were near as good as scrumpi- why not?--sweet to start , and too
bland and_____ and ______- you get the idea
In my reading the usual spelling was "scrumpy" said to be hard cider
made on the farms that produced the apples, for farm or local use,
very variable in quality.
Bear in mind that what you drank in "small town taverns" in the UK
was probably made and sold for a local market with a tradition of
thousands of years of use of this beverage.
What you bought in the stores was probably made for a mass market
unfamiliar with the product, made from juice of eating apples readily
available on the international market plus some chemical additives.
Also, my understanding is that processing apples for the juice market
are grown with more nitrogen than for the fresh eating market as most
of the processing market will accept a lower quality of apple.
Traditional cider making in Britain involves apples of traditional
cider cultivars, and I would expect that somewhat traditional methods
involving a relatively low level of nitrogen fertilization would
produce the best quality as they do in eating apples.
Planting the traditional cider cultivars involves considerable risk
as if the market turns out not to be there after 6-10 years of
developing the orchard, the only market would be the commercial juice
market. I don't know whether the traditional cider cultivars have the
productivity to compete in this market. I suspect not.
I suspect though that from the quality point of view the specialty
fresh juice market could absorb juice from traditional cider
cultivars. In the past one small Ontario producer of fresh juice from
eating apples (sold in supermarkets) added a little extra acid and I
think tannin to give the product a little extra bite. I preferred it.
I would expect a quality product either way, from a small producer
with a desire to produce quality. I don't expect high quality from
producers for the mass market. The high and increasing concentration
in the supermarket trade suggests that farm gate sales or specialty
stores would be the only reliable market as supermarket chains like
to sell a new product in all their stores or none.
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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