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

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

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.

Pic­ture: Antony Kelly

Nor­folk Raider Cider. Owner Paul Cork

Pic­ture: Lisa North Pho­tog­ra­phy

Har­leston Cider

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