Do you enjoy delicious fruit? Have you ever tasted the perfect pear? Would you like to sample something crisp light and refreshing? Try Perry!
Not having been exposed to cider or perry in the areas we grew up, we have learned a lot of information from Erin James book Tasting Cider – The Cidercraft Guide. Much of what we share below we learned from Ms. James sharing her love of cider and perry through her writings.
Perry Confusing and Challenging
Perry is similar to cider in process. Cider is crafted using apples. Perry is made from pears.
Pears are known as the “fickle fruit.” They are delicate. However, growing the trees that yield the best fruit for this process is difficult. Importing rootstock is challenging and it takes about seven years for the trees to produce well. The process is very labor intensive when creating perry.
Fermenting pears is how to create “True perry”. However, labeling in the American marketplace can be confusing. There is no real distinction between true perry and cider with pear juice added to it.
About eight years ago, the American cider industry began to experience a revival. In the 1970’s and 1980’s a few small cider producers had loyal local followings in states that border the Pacific. As the memories of Prohibition have faded, Americans have revived interest in many beverages that were well regarded prior to that dry period of history. Not surprisingly, perry is one of those industries!
Fourth century theologian Palladius said that Romans preferred “wine made of pears.” Pyratium, Latin for perry, was mentioned by the emperor Charlamagne. He is also credited with giving the drink made from pears a name and helping to spread it along with his conquests. However, in the eleventh century Norman conquerers helped pears and perry to conquer England. Consequently, today it is very popular in the Somerset, Dorset and Herfordshire areas.
Consequently, pears used for making this delicious drink are high in tannin and acid. While not tasty to eat the fruit, they are perfect for fermentation. However, growing enough of these pear trees may be America’s greatest challenge with growing a perry industry.
Delicate Flavors Dancing on Your Tongue
Unlike the heady flavors of beer or the sweetness of apple cider, perry can be bursting with delicate floral flavors. Alcohol by volume is typically lower than other beverages; thus, making it a delightful meal companion or afternoon indulgence.
Our CKJY Exports team members have varying opinions on what flavors make the best pear cider. Slightly sweeter full bodied perries are what Todd enjoys. While Claire prefers the bright and crips perries. In fact, perries are one of Claire’s favorite things to pair with large variety of dishes ranging from spicy dishes to desserts.
What do you like to pair with your favorite perry?
Next week, we will investigate the process of how this delicious beverage is crafted.
Also, learn more from Ms. James and her lovely Tasting Cider book yourself.
Here is a link to order her book for yourself. –