November 18 is National Apple Cider Day! Apple cider is a raw unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink made from apples. Apple cider can be differentiated from apple juice in that apple juice is typically filtered to take out apple particles, pasteurized to maximize shelf-life, and sugar and water are often added to the beverage. Because of its limited shelf-life, untreated cider has become a seasonal beverage produced mostly in fall and winter months, making it a popular holiday beverage.
Apples are not a fruit native to the North American continent. After finding only inedible crab apples on the continent, apple seeds were brought to America by colonial settlers from England in the 17th century. The first apple orchard in North America was planted in Boston in 1625. Seeds from Europe were cultivated on Colonial farms as well as spread throughout Native American trade routes. John Chapman, known by many as “Johnny Appleseed,” traveled ahead of western-bound settlers in America and began to plant small cider apple orchards across the Midwest.
Cider can be enjoyed cold or “mulled” by making the cider hot and adding spices like clove and cinnamon. If you would like to celebrate Apple Cider Day, try some of these great recipes!
Happy Apple Cider Day!