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Host a Cider Tasting -- And Serve These Perfectly Complementary Foods

Fall is the perfect time to explore hard cider.

Photography by: Helen Norman

Hard cider was made to be enjoyed with food -- in early America, its alcohol content rendered it safer to drink than water. Hosting your own tasting? Dan Pucci, cider director at Wassail, a cider restaurant in New York City, offers a few pairing suggestions.


Spanish Ciders

Pair With: Dried Sausage + Hard or Semihard Cheese + Quince Paste

This Spanish-inspired grouping works well with Spanish-style cider. Its acidity balances heavier flavors. Above: summer sausage (1); Firefly Farms Cabra La Mancha (2); membrillo, or quince paste (3).


(DON'T MISS: Cheese Pairing with a Twist)

Sparkling Ciders

Pair With: Salty Meats + Soft Cheese + Pickled Beets + Jam

A full-bodied sparkling cider stands up to these strong flavors and creamy textures. Above: coppa (4), De-Glae Sheep Dairy Dew Drop (5), pickled golden beets (6), black-raspberry jam (7).


(TRY: Our Sweet-Pickled Shaved Golden Beets Recipe)

Hoppy Ciders

Pair With: Crackers + Bologna + Herbed Goat Cheese + Pickled Carrots

Herbaceous fare is lovely with the grassy taste of a hops-infused cider. Above: buckwheat crackers (8), bologna (9), Charlottetown Farm aged goat crottin (10), pickled carrots (11).


(MAKE: Our Pickled Carrots Recipe)