Somerset is known for many things but when I think of that wonderful accent, I picture warm summers and orchards. Somerset is most famous for Cider and Cheddar Cheese and as Mary Poppins once said, ‘these are a few of my favourite things’. Where would the world be without Cheddar and what would my formative years have been like without cider? A much duller experience I’m sure. For local businesses who don’t want their websites to look too cheesy try Web Designers Somerset. For more information, visit http://www.somersetwebservices.co.uk/
Somerset is the home of Thatchers Cider and has been produced in Sandford for more than one hundred years. The county also boasts more than a dozen other smaller cider makers too. It seems that the best cider comes from Somerset and many of the independent brewers open to the public and offer cider tasting. What a wonderful way to spend a summer’s day! Here are some farms that should make it to your to do list:
Near Glastonbury is Orchard Pig and what started out as a hobby has now turned into a well-known brand. The orchards here have been involved in cider making since the 1850’s. Rich’s Farmhouse Cider is another must as it offers try before you buy straight from the barrel. Gordon and Betty Rich started pressing Somerset apples over 60 years ago so they know a thing or two about the drink.
One of the longest established cider makers in the UK is Sheppy’s, with a history going back over 200 years. The business remains independent and produces traditional ciders with apples grown in their orchards or locally. Here you can also try before you buy.
For award winning ciders made with apples from the finest orchards across Somerset and Dorset, then pay a visit to Bridge Farm. Also available direct from the barrel. Thatchers have been pressing apples for more than a hundred years and this family run business is based at Myrtle Farm in Sandford. There is a shop next door to the orchard and all their ciders can be tasted in the Railway Inn, a 140 year old pub in the village.
Cheddar cheese originates in Somerset in the village of Cheddar. It is the UK’s most popular cheese and accounts for over half of the £1.9 billion annual cheese market! It is now the second favourite in the United States too. That’s not bad for a small village in the Somerset countryside. Cheddar Gorge caves offered the perfect temperature and humidity for maturing cheese and has been produced since at least the 12th century.
During the Second World War, most milk in Britain was only used for the production of one cheese, nicknamed government cheddar, due to shortages and rationing. Before this there were more than 3,500 cheese producers in Britain but after the wars, fewer than 100 remained. The fondness for cheddar practically wiped out all other cheeses. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Cheddar is the world’s most popular variety of cheese. Well done Somerset!