Everything Smells of Apples in Hardanger

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The art of fruit cultivation came to Hardanger with the monks in the 11th century, and has since become a long tradition in the Hardanger Fjord in Western Norway.

The world famous Hardanger cider is to be produced with natural fermentation from the apple and no yeast added. The juice is pressed out of the apples and fermented for months. It can gain an alcohol content of up to 8-10 per cent.

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The cider is meant to be non-cloudy and have the taste and smell of good, fresh apples when the bottle is opened. The cider is slightly sparkling when poured into the glass.

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Hardanger has the perfect growing conditions for apples. There is a special micro-climate surrounding the fjord that makes the area a few degrees warmer than just a few miles in either direction. The first apples were brought here by monks. The apple tree had a special religious significance, symbolizing paradise before the fall of man.

Apple cider production in Hardanger
Apple cider production in Hardanger

In Europe they made cider in areas where the climate was too cold and wet for vineyards to grow. France is the greatest producer of cider in the world, and Hardanger in Norway is the cradle of this golden drink. The Hardanger apple cider was a trading product from the end of year 1800 and until the government declared alcohol forbiddingness in 1919. The situation today is that the Cider Producers Society in Hardanger (40 members) has been fronting the work of letting the cider back into the farmer’s items for consumption amongst with other culture aspects like travelling.

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The alcohol regulations were changed 1.april – 2003 and made it possible for producers of cider to get concession to brew and serve cider in their own approved premises. These producers are also entitled to sell cider to restaurants and liqueur stores.

A cider contest held during the Sweet Cherry Festival, has an aim to allure the cider producers up from their cellars so that they can present their own brewed cider. The competition is open for sweet cherry wine and other wines made of local fruit and berries.

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Ekspedisjonen Skjenkestove is the coolest pub in Hardanger just across the fjord. They have concerts, pub-quiz and serve their own brew of both beer and apple cider.

Feature image (on top): Blooming in Hardanger

Everything Smells of Apples in Hardanger, written by Admin