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Oct 16, 2007 10:35 AM

Fresh Apple Cider in LA?

Looking for fresh apple cider in Los Angeles. Do any of the groceries sell it?

Help - I have a craving! : )

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  1. I've seen it this time of year at the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sundays. It tasted like the real thing and I grew up in Michigan with fond memories of going to the cider mill in the fall...

    1. Do you mean unpastuerized? Only one place I know of near LA that you can get fresh, unpasturized (yes, legally) apple juice, and that's RB orchards in Tehachapi. Best apple juice I've ever tasted, actually. The juice you buy was probably pressed that day or the day before!

      Or do you mean actual cider, which is by definition alcoholic?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Diana

        Their website says they are already sold out and closed for 2007. But you can get on the mailing list for 2008.

      2. You can get unpasteurized cider at some of the apple orchards in Oak Glen such as Riley's.

        8 Replies
        1. re: emily

          You gotta press it yourself at Riley's (which is how they got around the pastureization law)! Actually, that's REALLY fun, especially for families, but a lot of work. Generally, the little ones do it for a bit, get tired and bored in a few minutes, and let mom or dad finish up.

          1. re: emily

            You can buy it unpasteurised at Parrish Pioneer Ranch -- I just got some. I've had enough apple cider pressing to last me a lifetime, so I'm happy to buy the fruits of someone else's labour.

            1. re: emily

              Is it me or the Oak Glen orchards charges an huge sum for cider? I thought it was like $12-16 per gallon, and I think the most expensive one I saw was at Wood Acres.

              Seems like an easy enough thing to do at home by getting a juice extractor, and at least I can make sure that the apples I use are not the ones that were sitting on the ground that people may have trampled on.

              1. re: notmartha

                Sadly, no juice extractor cn get all the flavor a good, solid cider press can do!

                1. re: notmartha

                  I made a gallon of cider at Riley's a couple weeks ago. Though it tasted incredible, it was $20 a gallon!! In the old days, you'd pick the apples from the orchard off of the ground. Now, they have huge bins of fallen apples near the cider press, so it's basically pay-and-shred for the twenty bucks.

                  1. re: Outerspace

                    Hi, Outerspace. Jim Riley here at Riley's Farm. I know it's been a few months since you posted, but forums being what they are, people will probably check back on this topic from time to time. The San Bernardino EHS (Environmental Health Service) will not allow us to use "ground fall" apples anymore, because of the danger of e coli food poisoning. Personally, I feel it's overkill, but that's the current reality. We know u-press is expensive, from the consumer's point of view, but it takes a LOT of apples to make a gallon of u-press cider, since it's not the most efficient method out there. (A cider pressing facility would use hydraulic presses and get far more out of the apples than we can get with the technology of yesteryear.)

                    Thanks for visiting our farm--and thanks to everyone else on the forum who referenced us.

                    1. re: apple_farmer

                      Hi Jim,

                      Thanks for posting. Your explanation makes sense for the reasons that you don't allow groundfall any longer, but I was still a bit surprised by the price. The apples in the bins are quite distressed, and would not be usable in any other form than cider, so I wonder whether I would spring the 20 bucks again even though the flavor was great. Any thoughts?

                      1. re: Outerspace

                        Yes, we know it's expensive, but the public can't be allowed to use a cider press, (with grinding teeth after all) unattended, so that means we have to assign a good member of our staff to the task, who is a certified food service worker, who is good with people, who is knowledgeable, to supervise the process. He has to be on call ready to go even when there are no takers for the press as well. As for the apples, they are picked by one of our harvesters and they would not likely be super-market quality, but most of the time, I saw fresh, hard, premium fruit going into the press. (You may have been there at the end of the day.) As for the price of the apples themselves, we keep hearing that a lot of California fruit is being exported, increasing the price of the domestic stock. We raise our fruit, but we need to get market rates for it. I know this is all tremendously tedious, but there is a reason for the price.

              2. It's not fresh, it's not unpasteurized, but I just got a couple of bottles of apple beer at Trader Joe's and it was great with my homemade fondue.

                1. Not LA, but I've seen it in the past at Irvine farmer's market.