GREAT WITH FOOD

HARD APPLE CIDER PAIRS wonderfully with all kinds of food, but it goes particularly well with the other foods of fall – pork, chicken, butternut squash, cheddar cheeses and so on. “Because it’s very dry, it’s an incredible palate cleanser,” said Eli Cayer of Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland. “It goes well with just about anything. I think lighter foods are better because it cleanses your palate so well, it allows you to really pick up on the subtle flavors of the food you’re eating, so you don’t need this really overpoweringly rich food.”

HERE IS A FALL RECIPE that pairs hard apple cider and pork. It’s a favorite of Betsy Parks-Stamm, owner of the Kennebec Cider Company, and her family:

HARD CIDER PORK CHOPS

Pork chops (all the rest of the ingredients are per chop)

1 shallot, diced

1/2 apple, peeled and diced

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 cup hard cider

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Salt and pepper chops. Brown chops in butter, on high, for 3 minutes per side. Place in a baking dish. Add shallot and caraway seeds to the pan until soft, then add diced apples, thyme and hard cider and allow to boil uncovered to thicken the sauce, about 5 minutes. Spoon over chops and bake until temperature reaches 150 degrees (about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness of chops). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.