Was it Stewart Peachey on Radio 4 a few months ago who did a piece on
traditional apple orchards and cider? I think it was and the piece I'm
sure was on either the food programme or You and Yours.
Anyone who wants to send me the details of real Perry makers would be
welcomely received! I'm in the middle of rewriting my website (my own
not the CBA which is also in the middle of re-development) and I want to
put a section on with a list of real Perry and perry producers.
I've noted the Hecks farm one in Street (got a mate from Street I'll
have to get him to pick some up next time he visits his folks!) for my
list (thanks Vince).
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I am not sure whether cider is actually English in origin. It ('cidre')
seems to be drunk more commonly than wine or beer or ale in northern
France, especially in Normandy and Britanny. Did we imbue the taste in
the Normans, or vice versa, I wonder?
Now there's an interesting thought. Has any evidence for a cider press
been found in early archaeological contexts?
Less common, but also found in France is Perry (I think 'poiree'), which
I agree is the better drink, although I confess it is the only one that
has ever made me fighting drunk on one glass (indeed any number of
glasses, and I speak as a former neat gin drinker). Black Bull Perry
from Leigh Sinton was the culprit. Perry is easy to make - crush the
pears into a vat and leave it.
Sadly, and for the simple-minded, we are now being accosted in the shops
by 'pear cider' which is both an impoverishment of the language and a
contradiction in terms.
Stewart Peachey of Historical Management Associates
(www.stuart-hmaltd.com) and othersis trying to save historically
significant apple trees (and, I hope, pear trees) by acquiring land and
planting orchards of threatened or unique varieties. He would be worth
As usual, the views expressed in this email are the opinionated views of
the writer and the organisation he represents.
Malcolm J Watkins, BA, AMA, MIFA