While the scrumpy of the West Country Wurzels is well known, the orchards, apples and ciders of Norfolk are well worth making a song and dance about
It’s the cider season – and Norfolk is good at cider
It’s the apple season in Norfolk’s traditional cider country. In the orchards dotted around Banham, Kenninghall, Carleton Rode and Wilby apples have been picked, pressed and fermented into cider for centuries.
Traditional cider is a simple drink (ingredients; apples) fermented with the yeast which is naturally present in the fruit. Once there were orchards across the county and today’s peaceful groves of apple-laden trees are a taste of history stretching back many hundreds, or even thousands, of years.
Cider is likely to have been drunk in Norfolk more than 2,000 years ago, by the Iceni. But after the wine-drinking Romans and beer-drinking Anglo Saxons, cider only returned to the county with the Normans.
Britain’s earliest known written reference to cider is from 1204, detailing the four hogsheads of pearmain cider the manor of Runham, near Yarmouth, had to give the monarch every year.
For centuries most farms made their own cider, but then orchards were grubbed up for the land to be ploughed for crops. Today, with the resurgence of interest in local food and drink, new orchards are being planted, old types of apple are being identified and cider is once more being made in cideries, barns and sheds.
Norfolk Raider Cider. Owner Paul Cork