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Cider - a sparkling liqueur made from apple

Brittany, a region of north west France, where its people established their original gastronomic culture with apple. Life there has always been closely tied with apple, which is certainly different from the wine regions. Cider is truly a product from the terroir of Brittany, the best weather and soil for apple production.

All Brittany farms plant cider apple which is a special variety to make cider. The beautiful form of an apple tree would be seen as a symbol of the precious gift from the earth in the middle of a lush fertile land scenery.
To make light sparkling cider, the process starts by maturing apples in the open air after harvesting. Then the juice collected by gently squeezing them is fermented in barrels without any additive substance. Only the sugar content from the apple turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which makes cider a sparkling drink with 2-5 % of alcohol.
In the past, Bretons had homemade cider, even more often than water, for its refreshing bitterness, acidity and bubbles to quench their thirst.

A kind of wine?

No. Cider is a carbonated liquor made from apple that varies from Brut (Dry), Demi-sec (Medium-dry) to Doux (sweet). Eau-de-vie (Calvados) and Pommeau are also produced in the Brittany and Normandy regions where gastronomic culture with apple has been built, in contrast with the wine-producing regions.

Food pairing with ciders

All type of food will match the refreshing and clean taste of cider. An ideal pairing would be dry cider for fish, or a rich and bodied cider for meat. As each cider has delicate note and complexity, it will be a profound pleasure to find a good marriage.

Apple varieties for cider production

Cider apples have a thick skin which contains lots of polyphenols. For cider production, carefully selected apple from over 40 varieties are blended to make a well-balanced mixture with sweetness, acidity, bitterness and dry taste. There are more than five times more polyphenols found in cider apple with thick skin than in eating apple.

Is it healthy to drink?

With a lower alcohol strength than wine, it contains only 5% even in dry cider, less in sweet one. Also, rich in polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, cider is considered to be a part of a health-conscious diet.

Unlike the industrialised cider production, people still carry on their tradition of artisanal cider production in this region, the terroir - best soil and weather - for apple cultivation.
The heritage has been passed to the new generations who try new approaches, even in their leisurely life, to update the culture by forming an association* for cider production, targeting the actual market development - premium organic cider, alcohol-free cider, and so on. Pure and genuine traditional cider made by artisans without any additives or sugar with a rich flavour and natural apple aroma. Although it is getting harder to find it amongst the large quantity of industrial carbonated drinks, the tradition is certainly kept alive with the Bretons' efforts.

*The cooperative "Les Celliers Associés" was founded in 1953 in a sunny village close to Rance estuary, named Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany. About 300 contract farmers joined to cultivate apple respecting the conservation of local varieties. We offer their premium cider at Le Bretagne (Crêpe restaurant/ cider bar and restaurant) and Breitz café.