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Nov 23, 2011 02:59 PM

Where can I get some really great apple cider in Seattle - prefer non-pasturized?

Was at QFC (where I rarely shop) today for Tday last minute items, and they had NO apple cider at all! I was shocked. Even Albertson's has been carrying an albeit-not-great branded cider from Lighthouse; the Gala apple version was good with pork chops, and to add to a cranberry-cider sauce this last week, and a decent beverage for a small sip...

I miss lovely full apple-ey- cloudy - zippy cider from my youth my mom would bring home in the fall, that if you left it in the fridge and didn't drink it in time, would start to ferment and the plastic would puff out.

I want THAT cider. If we don't cook with it or drink it, we can make vinegar or ? with the wholesome leftovers.

Where can I find this?

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  1. i had the same craving last year and randomly drove by minea farm cider mill on woodenville-redmond road. the cider was good-they had several varieties that they let you sample- and they sell some other apple products. super nice people with the cutest sheltie :)

    1. Hi, gingershelly:

      I'm guessing you wanted this for Thanksgiving, so this may not give you any help...

      Dot's Deli has a brand of Normandy cider (sparkling) that is not Pasteurized. Expensive at $19 (Skagit Coop had the same last year for $9).

      Speaking of Skagit Valley, there is a cidery (no, not the "Red Barn") just S of Mt. Vernon on the W side of I-5, easily seen from the freeway. A family named Johnson runs it. They press frequently, and their sweet cider for public resale all gets flash-Pasteurized. But if you're there while they're pressing and you talk nice to them, they'll fill a jug or 8 for you that will eventually turn hard in your fridge.

      Here's another idea--go to a brew supply place and buy a deck of cider yeast to slip into your store-bought cider. You need to start the yeast before you pitch it, but you'd be surprised how much better even the worst TreeTop tastes after it's fermented even just a little bit.

      Hope you find what you need,

      4 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Happy thanksgiving Kaleo,
        Appreciate the advice... I was not looking for hard cider, as that - as you mentioned you can find in stores. I do love that too..
        Was hoping for non-pasteurized apple cider from just apples, pressed. My mention of them ending up 'getting hot' in the fridge after going off is just the result of them not being pastaurized.

        I appreciateRoola's note of the place on woodinville-redmond road; have been there before when I spent more time in that area.

        Is there anyting at Whole Paycheck, or PCC, or anywhere more accessisble that has real fresh cider (non-alchoholic, juice), that I can buy?

        So suprised this seems hard to come by anymore. There must be a, meh, law that is stopping this product from coming to market anymore, as it was very available when I was younger.

        Any sources would be appreciated.

        Happy Thanksgiving, and happy cooking to all Chowhounds today:)!

        1. re: gingershelley

          In 1996, an outbreak of e coli was attributed to unpasturized apple juice. The guys who sell at the Farmers Markets say they just can't risk selling it (I think they are allowed to if the bottles are labelled as "a risk to consumers", but I am not positive about that.) Last two times I've had it was at a backyard cider pressing and at a harvest festival in Skagit Valley (I think it was October a few years back.)

          1. re: tsquare

            This was a pretty serious deal. Kids died--unpasteurized was served to kids frequently.

          2. re: gingershelley

            Hi, gingershelley:

            As others have pointed out, you're not likely to find un-Pasteurized sweet cider in the stores.

            Lament not, however. It will all (natural or un-Pasteurized) "go off" eventually, provided it gets some exposure to airborne native yeasts and a little warmth. Frankly the flash-P process my friends the Johnsons use is done more for placating the Health Dept., and it is primitive. I do not think it kills all the native yeasts, just enough of them to fend off trial lawyers beyond the Expiration Date. In this vein, one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted was a sweet cherry cider, originally Pasteurized, that "grew up" for two months in my shop refrigerator after an elk hunting trip. It was like a cherry Framboise or Cremant, except much, much better. Ironically, since the juice is flash-Pd BEFORE it goes into the plastic jugs, there's going to be some exposure to airborne yeasts everywhere but lab/industry clean rooms.

            Here's a little-known fact: cider yeasts can be natural (and national) treasures. So far anyway (Thanks be to God) the germ regulators have refrained from requiring complete sterilization of the chopper, press, pressbags, basket, bins, sorting tables, etc. In a minor miracle of sorts, the fresh juice is inoculated with the yeasts of many (in Europe MANY) harvests, not just the blood of it and its bin-mates.

            I don't know what area you live in, but there are homebrew places where you can probably still get bulk sweet cider when it's available. (The Cellar is a good small North-end one; there's another in Bellevue and another N of U-Villiage). But here's what they're probably going to tell you anyway: sulfite to kill the native yeasts and then inoculate with a dependable oenoligical strain.

            Try this: Buy a gallon of Pasteurized that tastes good to you. Let it come to room temperature. Pour a pint of it into a 9x13 and put it out on the back porch with a single layer of cheesecloth over it for 4-6 hours. Pour the pint back into your jug and let it sit out overnight. Then refrigerate and wait for the magic to happen.


            615 Boren Ave Apt 27, Seattle, WA 98104

        2. U. District and W. Seattle farmers' markets supposedly have cider, but I haven't had it so don't know details. Might be worth checking out, though.

          1. maltby farms, who sells on the street in pike place market, has excellent fresh cider whenever they set up (currently only friday-sunday)

            2 Replies
            1. re: howard 1st

              howard, do you know if maltby farm sells the cider just in fall, or into the winter as well?

              1. re: peppermint_sky

                they tell me that they'll be staying in the market thru xmas and will continue to sell the fresh cider (several sizes in glass bottles) as long as the trees keep producing

            2. Thank you all for the cider advice! I live in West Seattle, so will check out the WS Farmers market this sunday, and report back if there is 'live' cider there tomorrow.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gingershelley

                Rockridge Orchards sells a great honeycrisp apple cider. Check and see if they are at the WS Farmers market.