Cidermaking at the School of Artisan Food
While "cyder" is the true word for the fermented juice from the first apple pressings, “an orchard is classified as anything more than three trees.” So Simon Reed, Rough Old Wife cider founder, informed us during his most recent cidermaking course at Welbeck Abbey’s School of Artisan Food.
These and many other handy facts and entertaining anecdotes emerged during the day, as we delved into history, learnt about our apples and pears and, most importantly, scratted and pressed until our arms were about to drop off. Leaving with freshly pressed juice under your arm ready to start fermenting seemed a fitting immediate reward. I've only got six months to wait to see how my cider finally tastes – patience!
The good news is that Simon will be running extra courses next year in July and August due to popular demand, so there’ll be chances from May to November to find out the natural way of making the most of surplus orchard bounty.
I’ll be writing up a fuller review in due course, and we’ll post up dates – the first is set for 5 May – but do sign up for the School’s newsletter at www.schoolofartisanfood.org since student numbers are deliberately kept small.
And when you visit, do find time to visit the marvellous Welbeck Estate Farm Shop and pick up a few bottles from Welbeck Abbey’s own brewery, created for you by one of Britain's youngest brewsters, Claire Monk.
Right - I'm off to check my cider – wish me luck...