discover more about the precious nectar of gods
WHAT IS apple cider
Cider is an alcoholic drink produced by fermenting the squeezing of apples. It has a sweetish-bitter taste that depends on the production method, the alcohol content ranges from 4 to 12 degrees.
Cider is known since ancient times throughout the world, highly appreciated in the countries of the Celtic area, from Ireland to Normandy, Brittany and Asturias are among its major producers.
The production of cider was once widespread in Northern Italy, since the first decades of the last century when a legislation was introduced to encourage wine production to the detriment of other fermented products; this led to an almost total disappearance of this drink which now survives only in a few alpine areas.
Types of cider
On the market there are today different types of cider: sweet cider which is low in alcohol, very bubbly with a fruity flavor and which is usually served with desserts; dry cider, which is more or less sparkling and goes well with meat and fish and the traditional one, bitter and more alcoholic that can also be served with seasoned and savory cheeses.
The production of cider was originally developed using little wild apples, similar to the variety later selected for the production of the drink. The quality and alcohol content of the cider depends on its degree of ripeness. Once harvested, apples are washed and crushed. After pressing, the liquid is poured into barrels, usually in chestnut wood barrels. The materials used in the different stages of the processing along with the essence and age of the barrels determine color, aroma and flavour of the cider produced. About seven days after pressing, the must-cider is poured into another container, lees are eliminated, and a first chemical analysis of the liquid is carried out, as a precaution.
The fermentation of the liquid, after racking, resumes constantly and lasts for a period that varies varying between ten and twenty days. Following this time we can start talking about real cider. At this point, a second racking is carried out and the product is left to age for a few months in a cool place. Once fermentation is completed, the cider is decanted and is ready for bottling that must take place with waning moon, clear sky and not windy weather.
CIDER AND BENEFITS FOR YOUR HEALTH
The healthy effects of cider and apple peel were well known by the Assyrian-Babylonians since before the year 600 B.C. Multiple healing properties were attributed to this golden liquid: diuretic, tonic, antidiarrheal, eupeptic, febrifugal, and digestive effects were reported, as well as curative effects for cough, preventive effects for heart attacks and heart problems, laxative effects, strengthening of the cardiovascular system against atherosclerosis, anti-carcinogenic, healing effects…
In 1676 the Englishman John Worlidge wrote about cider: “Regular consumption of this drink, after long experience, is proven to significantly ensure health and longevity by ensuring full strength and vigor to drinkers, even those in old age”.
More recently, research conducted mainly by the Brewing Research International Institute (Dr. Caroline Walker), confirmed the results already praised in the past. The result of this research on positive health effects of a daily and moderate consumption of cider proved that a daily intake of a pint of cider has a positive impact on health.
Cider, if sipped during meals instead of wine, is useful to our digestive process as its degree of acidity is close to that of normal stomach and intestinal digestion; moreover it contains enzymes that help digestion. The slight alcohol content is useful as a vasodilator. It can even be drunk, watered down, by sick persons, children and the elderly. Apple cider is an excellent intestinal pH rebalancer as it creates basic reactions.
In addition, cider is very rich in antioxidants which, as known, play an important role in the cellular reconstruction process, which is decisive in the prevention of cancerous diseases and cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, the very high calcium and potassium content is an important factor in maintaining blood pressure at optimal levels. Cider, when compared with red wine, has an equivalent antioxidant qualities and contains antioxidants on its own, that favor lung respiration and prevent cancer.
Last but not least cider contains a high amount of antioxidants such as polyphenols and especially tannins which improve lipid metabolism, also avoiding the oxidation of the so-called “bad” cholesterol, which is more active when oxidized. Polyphenols in cider, in addition to the antioxidant and bactericidal effect determine its marked sensorial properties, such as flavor, color, texture, bitterness.
Cider drinkers are generally less predisposed to accumulation of uric acid and have therefore an almost complete immunity to problems such as stones and gout.” These are the conclusions of a study carried out on behalf of the Provincial Government of the Region of Castilla y Leon: the content of malic acid in cider, in fact, is a powerful diuretic that activates kidney function and prevents the accumulation of uric acid. According to this study, therefore, cider must be considered, among the fermented beverages, the most refreshing and healthy one, even if compared with beer.