Newport, United Kingdom, December 01, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- With winter creeping up on us and the cold weather setting in, you would be forgiven for thinking that the evenings of cider drinking are on the back burner until the sun comes out. However, while the cider producers are busy pressing apples ready for next year’s cider, chefs are utilising this year’s batch by creating wonderful dishes to serve in top local restaurants.
You may have heard that cider and cheese make the perfect combination, but with cider starting to challenge wine for the top spot on the dinner table, it’s not surprising that cider is being used more and more in delicious recipes from White Onion, Cider and Thyme Soup with Hafod Cheese at Y Polyn in Carmarthen, to a Pork Belly Salad or Brixham Bay Scallop at The Bell Inn, Caerleon.
Wesley Harris, Owner and Chef at The Charthouse restaurant near Abergavenny said: “Cider is a very versatile drink - it is not as strong as wine and is universal. Medium cider is great for cooking savoury but I wouldn’t rule out sweet either as it goes well with desserts. It reduces like a wine to create a syrup so is ideal for making sauces.”
“Britain is not a huge wine producer so cider is the perfect alternative for using a local product. It is a great tool to cook with and is something that I use often. The perfect tool for braising, cider can mix well with lots of foods, it’s best to just be creative in the kitchen and see how flexible it really is.”
The Charthouse Restaurant in Abergavenny is a regular stockist of real cider and often has something on the menu that Wesley has created containing cider. Currently, their menu offers a shallot, apple and cider marmalade served with a goat’s cheese tart.
Bryan Webb, Owner and Chef at Tyddyn Llan in Llandrillo said: “We often cook with cider and currently offer cider and apple sauce with our duck. I also like to put cider into the pork gravy after roasting a loin of pork.
“Cider is a very versatile drink and also works well in sauces with fish in a creamy sauce and is great for replacing wine when cooking mussels. I also tend to recommend that a glass of good dry cider goes well with roast pork and the mussels.”
Cressida Slater, Development Officer at the Welsh Perry and Cider Society said: “Many people associate cider with hot summer days in a beer garden, but when introduced to the suitable pairings between cider and food, it really does spark peoples interest.
“More and more restaurants are beginning to realise that cider can be equally as flexible as wine, offering the same depth of flavour and versatility. It’s fantastic to see some of our quality Welsh restaurants recognising this through their menus.”
In a recent article on her website, Fiona Beckett from MatchingFoodandWine.com suggests matching cider with creamy sauces, soups or risottos, roast pork belly or Brittany/Normandy style savoury crèpes work very well with cider. It was also suggested by Fiona that sweeter ciders work very well with apple or apricot based cakes and puddings.
The Welsh Perry and Cider Society have recently released cider gift hampers aimed at linking cider and food for Christmas gift ideas. The traditional hampers brings together two bottles of real, 100% pure juice cider with two cheeses, one mature and one mature with leek and white wine, and a orchard fruits chutney, all of which have been specifically chosen to complement each other perfectly. More information on these hampers is available on www.welshcider.co.uk.
Cider and food have been matched together for some time and continue to be paired by some of the top Welsh chefs using local produce. With local ciders becoming so readily available at Christmas and farmers markets and online, it is an achievable task to undertake at home. Real cider is also becoming more and more popular in local pubs, giving people a chance to try out a variety of ciders with their food before they experiment at home.
The Welsh Perry and Cider Society also offers the chance to take part in a number of cider and perry meals throughout the year, with the next taking place at The Bell Inn, Caerleon, to give people the inspiration and knowledge to use cider in their kitchen. For more information on these events visit www.welshcider.co.uk.