Show 416, March 13, 2021: Cider Sommelier Dan Pucci – A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage

Cider Expert Dan Pucci

“From pioneering cider sommelier Dan Pucci (called “the hype man cider is lucky to have” by Eater), and food writer and restaurant owner Craig Cavallo comes AMERICAN CIDER: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage (Ballantine Trade Paperback Original.) The first of its kind, the book chronicles the history of cidermaking in the United States, offering essential knowledge on what to drink and where the cider market is heading.”

“Cider today runs the gamut from sweet to dry, smooth to funky, made with just apples or joined by other fruits—and even hopped like beer. Like wine, ciders differ based on the apples they’re made from and where those apples were grown. In AMERICAN CIDER, experts Pucci and Cavallo give a new wave of consumers the means to taste, talk about, and choose their ciders, along with stories of the many local heroes saving heirloom apples and producing innovative, new varieties. By combining the tasting tools of beer and wine, Pucci and Cavallo illuminate the possibilities of this light, flavorful, and naturally gluten-free beverage.”

“Not to mention, cider is more than just its taste. It also has deep roots in American history, as the nation’s first popular alcoholic beverage, originally made from apples brought across the Atlantic. The authors employ a region-by-region approach to further illustrate how ciders and the apples they’re made from came to proliferate the U.S.—including demystifying Johnny Appleseed (spoiler: it’s not what you think) and the surprising effects of industrial development and government policies that benefited white men on apple production.”

“Not simply a guide to drinking, AMERICAN CIDER is at its heart a guide to being part of a community of consumers, farmers, and fermenters taking the nation’s oldest beverage into its bright, booming future as an indispensable American drink.”

Dan tells us a bit about local cider merchant Mark McTavish. One of his cider brands is 101 Cider House.

What’s an apple that grows well in California that makes good cider? We hear about the Jonathan, originally from the Hudson Valley. It’s profile in cider is “often very full-bodied, creamy, and textured with fresh fruit balanced by dried leaves and scrub grasses.”

Cider expert Dan Pucci joins us.