Happy birthday to us!

birthday apple (lit)It’s 5 years since Thistly Cross began and as ever we haven’t had time to properly celebrate because we’ve been working hard making and supplying cider to loads of venues and events including Oktoberfest (London, Edinburgh and Glasgow) and the BBC Good Food Show.

We’ve also been reaping the benefits of our ‘Apple Appeal’ with tons of apples coming into the Cider Shed from this year’s bumper harvest, and we’re only halfway through the season. We’re busy pressing apples into juice, some of which will graduate into Thistly Cross cider, AND today is Apple Day (yes really, it was initiated a few decades ago by the charity, Common Ground) so it seemed like a good time to answer some of the most common questions we’re asked about bringing in apples.

As long as they are in good, relatively clean condition, and not crab apples, we’ll be interested. Remember, happy, healthy apples make good cider; apple group outside (large)apples in bad condition make bad cider. A few minor blemishes are fine but we can’t use rotten or excessively dirty fruit, or anything that’s been damaged by animals. Here’s a group of good apples that came into the Cider Shed last week – notice that we take sweet eating apples and good, old cookers. The variation in apple types makes for exciting flavour combinations.

rotten apple (front on)And a bad one. The old rhyme does ring true, a bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch. So if any of your crop look like this, or have significant damage, then sorry but we can’t use them.

If you pick your apples from the tree, it’s usually best to get them to us by the following week so they’re fresh. If you have windfalls, we’ll need them sooner after picking, probably the same week. Don’t store them in plastic bags as they can sweat and rot. The best way of storing and transporting is in paper bags, tattie sacks, or open boxes/crates like fish boxes. If your transport containers are plastic, try lining them with paper first – it’ll help protect the apples.

Next blog we’ll be talking all things warming and a little bit spicy… hint hint. It’s time to get ready to ward off that encroaching wintry chill!