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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, February 24

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Ingredient Fri Sep 12 2008

Apple cider

Apple season means cider season at farmers markets.

This raises a question: What's the difference between the apple cider you buy at the farmers market and the apple juice you buy at the store?

About $2 a gallon.

Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

In reality, the differences are not strictly defined. In general apple juice is more heavily filtered than cider. This means cider often has a layer of apple solids that settle at the bottom of the jug. Give the jug a quick shake before you pour.

If the cider you buy has been UV pasteurized and not heat pasteurized, there is another big difference between it and juice: it may ferment. That sentence just caused some eyes to light up, I know. The UV pasteurization process allows some yeast to survive, and given a few days at room temperature or a few weeks under refrigeration, the cider may become fizzier, less sweet, and hard, i.e. alcoholic.

Cider is great poured cold into a glass. Also try it warmed on the stove with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves. For a cider reduction with the consistency of honey, gently simmer the cider in a small saucepan over very low heat for an hour or so. The resulting sticky syrup is great for pancakes, ice cream or as an accent on sandwiches.

Buy some cider now -- early in the apple season -- and buy more over the course of the next few months. You'll notice the flavor of the cider changes as different apples come into season.

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r / September 12, 2008 8:38 AM

I suppose it's not all bad that summer is ending!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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