American Cider: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage

Ballantine. Mar. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9781984820891. pap. $18. COOKING
In this in-depth look at the booming hard cider industry, cider expert Pucci (who formerly worked at Wassail, New York City’s first cider bar and restaurant) and food writer and café owner Cavallo attempt to cover the history of the beverage along with the mechanics of producing it, while also offering glimpses into its future. This project leads them to growers, cidermakers, and orchardists who recount the long history of cider and its resurgence in the 21st century. The bulk of the book, however, is divided into eight geographical U.S. areas, with each examining the unique geology and agricultural nature of the region and the key cider apple varieties that thrived there. Illustrations and maps are included throughout.
VERDICT Much like an atlas of wine, this detailed study gives cider its due as a complex sophisticated beverage, affected as much by terroir and apple varietals as a French Burgundy or a California Chardonnay. The focus on regional distinctions provides insight and discernment for a product regaining popularity throughout the United States.

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