Ohio’s Own: Laurelville Fresh Apple Cider
While the summer temperatures seem to be lingering on forever, fall officially arrived in late September with the equinox. With the new season comes the requisite fall foods: pumpkins, gourds, apples and apple cider. And turnips.
Laurelville Fruit Farms has been in the apple cider business for over 100 years. This year, it started its fresh apple cider production line on Labor Day, and gallon and half-gallon plastic jugs of its wares hit the local grocery shelves last month.
The cider it makes is a handsome, rich brown tea color, just like you’d want apple cider to be. It’s not a guzzling juice, there’s enough going on to make it more of a sipper than a swigger. Cold from the fridge, it packs a sweet and intensely flavorful apple punch that lingers on the palate.
It works hot too, though. Some people prefer their cider heated and the approach does make it seem more autumnal. It’s still best in small sips, not just for flavor, but also to avoid scalding the insides of your mouth.
There’s not a lot to the Laurelville cider ingredient list — it’s cider. And to address the eternal question: what’s the difference between apple juice and cider? Apple juice filters out the pulp, cider doesn’t. So, cider is typically more opaque. With that opaqueness comes an added benefit: researchers say that apple cider has a higher level of polyphenal compounds. That is to say, cider has more antioxidants (cancer-fighting components) than apple juice. It’s healthy.
Beyond cider, Laurelville also hosts a fruit-picking scene (the Honeycrisp are long gone though) and some other apple products such as cider slushies and a curiously popular house apple butter. The farm itself is in Hocking Hills, but you can find the cider here in town at gourmet grocers such as Weiland’s.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/LaurelvilleFruitFarm.