Yesterday afternoon, during a break from the rain, we popped up to our local farm shop
where they were celebrating the English apple harvest with some 26 varieties of apple to try. The apple theme was expaned with tastings of chutneys, jams, pork and apple sausages not to mention cider and, of course, apple juice. The latter were laid on by The Orchard Pig,
a local award-winning producer of apple based drinks who had their own apple harvest day in September where the invitation was to “come pick your own dessert & cooking apples or bring a picnic and enjoy it in the orchards. Hot food and drink will be available as well as tractor and trailer rides. Of course the famous Orchard Pigs will be in attendance too.”
I shall be looking out for a similar invitation next year. We enjoyed talking to them yesterday while propping up their ‘Cider Bar’ and downing a cup of warming mulled cider.
We came home from ‘Apple Day’ with a huge bag of Spartan apples – the dark red variety in the top row of the photo above. Obviously, I couldn’t resist buying a hunk of cheese from the wonderful counter of local cheeses inside the shop – this time Fosseway Fleece, a hard, ewes milk cheese from Somerset that was delicious on the cheeseboard last night. It’s fairly mild and pale in colour but with a concentrated nutty and slightly sweet flavour that suggests it would go well with an aged grenache-based red wine. I shall be experimenting with this match again – last night’s red Lirac (2006) was just a bit too heavy for it.
The afternoon’s final purchase was some locally reared pork (diced) with which I am planning to casserole this week with mushrooms, shallots and a good glug of 2008 cider from my inlaws’ farm in West Somerset.