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Local Unpasteurized Cider

November 19th, 2009

Fresh cider is one of my favorite fall treats. We buy gallons and gallons of it throughout the months of Sept-Nov. When we first moved here 8 years ago we found a great source of unpasteurized cider from a small local mill. I’ve tried cider from many of the other small local orchards, but the Mapleton Cider Mill has the best product!
One of the things I like about this cider is that it’s unpasteurized, so it hasn’t been heated to death or treated with ultraviolet light to kill all the goodness inside. How does this affect the flavor? Well, I can’t really explain besides saying it tastes like cider and not apple juice like much of the stuff you buy in the stores.
4-5 years ago they tried to make selling unpasteurized cider illegal in Ohio. I guess there are a lot of people like us that prefer the taste because there was an uproar. Our mill sold it “under the table” that year, they didn’t put up their usually signs by the road. It didn’t hurt their business because they were always low on cider when I stopped by.
The state finally decided to let people sell it as long as they put a warning on the cider. This doesn’t deter us, we drink gallons and gallons of cider this time of year.
My favorite way to drink cider, mulled of course; with cinnamon, cranberries and other warming spices. I also boil some down to make cider syrup, which we enjoy over pancakes and drizzled over apple pie. I add some to my apple butter as well and I often make mulled cider jelly to give away. I also use several gallons to make apple cider vinegar and this year hard cider.
Another thing I love about small local places is that they use the honor system. We stop by, grab a few gallons and put our money in the box. You just can’t beat living locally!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy cider? Do you have any special cider recipes you’d like to share?

15 Comments to “Local Unpasteurized Cider”
  1. kristin @ going country on November 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Hot, with a cinnamon stick in the mug. Yum.

    It’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in NY, EXCEPT when sold directly from the farm that produces it. We live in dairy country, so we can stop by farms and buy their fresh milk before they send it to the big dairy cooperatives to be processed and packaged. The difference is unbelievable.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Buried Alive in Bed =-.

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    • Susy on November 19, 2009 at 9:51 am

      It’s illegal to buy/sell raw milk in Ohio as well (even directly from the farm). It’s only legal to drink raw milk from your cow. To get our raw milk we actually bought a share in the farm, which means we technically own part of a cow and we pay the farmers to take care of it for us, not for the milk. Since it’s our cow, we can legally drink the milk.

      But it’s the best milk ever, it changes with the seasons. When the cows are out on pasture it’s much creamier and has a different taste. In the colder months it’s much lighter in flavor. The cows are also dry from Dec-Mar because they keep the cows on a natural cycle!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Anne Brown on November 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

        Hey Susy! We milked our ewes last spring, friltered & froze a bunch for later use, & made fresh raw sheeps milk riccota cheese. Very nutritious (4x as good as cows), mellow, mild, slightly nutty flavour. Don’t use rennet,to curd, just apple cider vinegar, sea salt, & a dab of butter & baking soda. We’ve been so discouraged by the $30,000.oo hoops the ODA wants to put us thru to be allowed to sell it, but I wonder about this idea of you buying in, like a co-op? or more like a CSA? & then if you own part of the sheep, you can have the “raw” cheese? So maybe you just pay for the maintenance of your sheep in $5.oo/pound increments? HHMMMMM!!! Excellent food for thought! Anne… Trinity Shepherdess!

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  2. Mangochild on November 19, 2009 at 9:59 am

    My favorite way to have cider, ooof, its hard to choose! I love it used as “braising” liquid when I’m cooking winter squash (acorn usually). I’ve boiled it down as you described too, making a sticky syrup.
    I’m not sure if we can get cider unpasturized here, though its likely we can, since raw milk is also found here in CT. I’ve not found a farm that does, but that just means I have to look more, right?
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..Persistent Peas =-.

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    • Susy on November 19, 2009 at 10:32 am

      It’s pretty tough to find around here. Most mills will pasteurize it with ultraviolet light, then they can still claim it’s unpasteurized. This mill is still all natural – no treatment. There’s definitely a difference in taste (even with the ultra-violet light treatment).

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  3. Diane@Peaceful Acres on November 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

    That brings back lots of memories. We had a cider mill in my hometown when I was a kid….water wheel and all at the town creek. We can’t get unpasteurized cider in Maryland. I just like drinking it!
    .-= Diane@Peaceful Acres´s last blog ..Garden Plans =-.

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  4. Dan on November 19, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Looks like a cool place and your are lucky to have such a place around. It is literally impossible to find unpasteurized and preservative free cider around here. I think it has to be done by law here after a few illnesses a while back. Pasteurizing of fresh foods is just a scapegoat for uncleanliness and poor food handling in my opinion.

    My first batch of hard cider I used pasteurized cider that had potassium sorbate in it. I read a few sources saying it will ferment and a few saying it won’t ferment so I decided to try. Well it certainly won’t ferment as it has not bumbled in 6 days. I managed to source some preservative free cider but still pasteurized for a second try at it. It should ferment no problem this time. I have been toying with the idea of building a simple cider press next year. It would be nice to have cider that has not been tampered with and to be able to control what apples go in it.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Cucumber Seed Saving =-.

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  5. Dan on November 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Here is a link to a homemade cider press encase you are interested:
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Cucumber Seed Saving =-.

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    • Susy on November 21, 2009 at 12:08 am

      Thanks, I’ll check it out. Someday I hope to have a small cider orchard with heirloom apples.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Miranda on November 19, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Man, you are so lucky – here in Texas i have to buy all my apples from the stores and sooo miss fresh local cider.
    I like to put a decent glug of cider into my stuffing mix along with the sauteed onions and giblets. Makes for nice moist stuffing, and blends with the bird’s juices really well.
    .-= Miranda´s last blog ..Toasted Pumpkin Seeds =-.

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    • Susy on November 21, 2009 at 12:08 am

      I guess that’s the trade-off. You can buy fresh citrus we can buy fresh apples.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Jaspenelle on November 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I think I use cider in as much cooking as possible. I think our home smells like mulled cider all Winter long with how often I made it. I use it when I bake butternut squash, in the glaze for pork roast, in a hearty root vegetable stew I make, in my apple butter… I’ve never thought to reduce it to use on pancakes but now I will have to give that a try too!

    Here we can’t buy unpasteurized milk, though there is a loophole as it can be sold if labeled for animal use only. I find a lot of systems like that have ways to dodge them if you look hard enough.
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Preparing =-.

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    • Susy on November 21, 2009 at 12:09 am

      I’m thinking of making a cider glazed turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I’ll be using it in many of the recipes.

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  8. Tree on November 19, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I love the thought of apple cider syrup. Next year I am going to half to find me a local place that sells Organic and Unpasturized. That is going to be quite the challenge, as I have never seen upasturized, but I suspect my dairy man (organic) may know someone who knows…
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..Piles and Piles of Papers =-.

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  9. Melissa on January 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    You have a lovely blog here. You mentioned in your post that you make ACV from cider. I’m interested in your process. I have some past due cider in my fridge that I’m hoping I can easily turn to ACV.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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