The second half of the CUESA farm tour last month was Hidden Star Orchards (also known as Smit Ranch and Smith Ranch), a farm known best for apples, cherries, and grapes.
Near the end of the tour, they handed out bottles of apple juice or cider---I couldn't tell because the label had detached from my bottle (it had been immersed in ice water). Then I remembered some advice from Ned Flanders: "If it's clear and yella, you've got juice there, fella; if it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town!"
I took a look at the bottle. Brown. I took a taste. Tangy. I was in cidertown!
Watch Ned Flanders explain it himself (including the important late season and Canadian exceptions):
I'll have much more about the tour in a little while over at Ethicurean.
(The photo at the top is the hammer mill portion of the cider-making machine, the part that mashes the whole apples into bits.)
Random link from the archive: Autumn Colors in the Santa Monica Mountains
Technorati tags: Farms : Food