Food glossary

A glass of cider and a basket of apples


After grapes, apples are the most important source of fruit used to make alcohol. Cider was traditionally made in northern regions, where apples flourished in the cold climates but grapes did not. The main cider producing areas are southern England and Normandy in France, where apples grow in abundance.

Apples used to make cider are usually too bitter for eating - they are classed in four different groups: sweet, bitter-sweet, bitter and acid. The variety of apple used determines the sweetness of the final product. Cider is available in many different types, including sparkling, still, cloudy and clear - the choice depends on personal preference.

A wide variety of different ciders are available in Waitrose, in cans and bottles, these include Waitrose Vintage English Cider, Waitrose French Cider, Waitrose Organic Cider, Dry Blackthorn and Waitrose Traditional Farmhouse Medium Dry or Medium Sweet. Cider was traditionally drunk by farmers as a refreshing accompaniment to a simple lunch of bread and cheese. Nowadays it is popular all over the world and is served in many pubs where it is drunk as an alternative to beer.

Uses: Cider adds a tangy, subtle apple flavour to a variety of pork and chicken recipes - often with the addition of cream.