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Cider Days (and Apple Lover’s goes international!)

November 18, 2011

It was so wonderful to be back at Cider Days in western Massachusetts earlier this month. This festival of apples and apple cider (hard and sweet) has become a touchstone. I only wish I could’ve stayed longer!

Here’s a shot of me demonstrating how to make cornbread dressing with sausage and apples, courtesy of my old college friend, Jennifer Rippel.

Like the theme apron?

My demo happened at a gem of a restaurant called Mike & Tony’s Pizzeria at Green Emporium in Colrain. Chef Michael Collins and co-owner/artist Pacifico Palumbo first ran the Emporium as a critically acclaimed fine dining restaurant, but decided to take a more casual approach when the economy shifted. It has that wonderful homespun feel of a real community restaurant, decorated with Pacifico’s artwork and a great vintage neon collection, and the pizza consistently earns raves. I can’t wait to go back for dinner.

After my demo, a lovely Swedish couple named Lars and Kathrarina came up and introduced themselves. They’re apple growers from Färingsö, an island off the coast of Stokholm, and they make artisan jams, marmelades, chutneys, syrups, and glögg. Their business, the Apple Factory or Appelfabriken, sounds like just the reason to take that long-imagined trip to Sweden, ideally during apple season. To sweeten the deal, they also gave me a jar of their apple marmalade, which is wonderful, with such vivid apple flavor you’d swear the fruit just came off the trees.

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