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The American Cider Book: The Story of America's Natural Beverage Paperback – August, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
The American Cider Book begins with a delightful history of apple cider in England and America, noting, among other things, that John Adams drank a tankard of it every morning and that the humble cider barrel was a symbol of William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign. It goes on to outline the traditional and modern methods for making cider in New England, then devotes a brief chapter to making it in the home. The book concludes with several dozen recipes for cooking with cider and some concluding reflections by the author.
Orton's strong opinions and quirky anecdotes make for an entertaining read. At one point he refuses to reveal the name or whereabouts of one cider maker, fearing that "vast conglomerates that know nothing about cider, vinegar, or even food would vie to buy him out, change his product, destroy its quality, and replace one of the best cider makers I have ever known." At another he notes that he likes to make cider with his wife, since "one of the great and noble functions of womanhood is to stand by and hand things to men to work with."
I should mention that, while the book does walk the reader through the various processes used to make sweet and hard cider, it often lacks in detail. In other words, the book gives you the basics, but you'll also need to use some creativity and common sense to see your cider through from the tree to the glass. This is no doubt what Orton intended, as experimenting is half the fun, but the meticulous reader may want to supplement the American Cider Book with a more specific how-to book. However, do not fail to read Orton's wonderful book first.
If you are planning to make cider, there are other books that I would recommend you have as well; I rely on Annie Proulx's excellent work.
For perspective and interesting uses, you need Vrest's volume.
I also recommend his other little books and the Vermont Country Store which he founded.
This book is fun to read as well as informative. Certainly, the quality of the historical research is excellent, and the facts are presently very coherently. A wide variety of information is included, from types of apples to use for cider making, to characteristics of the ideal pomace, to bottling and preservation methods for both sweet cider and hard cider, and even methods for making apple cider vinegar. Orton bases his comments not only on his historical research, but also on his own experience, growing up and making cider on a traditional family farm. On certain topics, he has some very firm opinions, which he shares with readers. For example, he observes, "One of the most outlandish, and to me shocking, habits of the times we live in is that of swilling down drinks from up-lifted bottles. No civilized person guzzles from a bottle if a glass or mug is available.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting, great book, great service, would use seller again.Published 13 months ago by Mitchell R. Verburg Jr.
Vrest Orton is a Green Mountain boy from Vermont, and he likes his cider - especially the hard stuff. Most of this book is devoted to old-fashioned English hard cidermaking. Read morePublished on February 15, 2007 by Robert A. Williams