Sep 6, 2017
Washington apple pressing, cider making displayed

Fruit trees abound in Seattle, Washington and its surrounding metro areas — and that’s a sweet opportunity for its community members to that nearby fruit and create crisp cider.

Attendees can celebrate fall and its urban bounty by learning how to press their own Washington apple cider Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in downtown Seattle.

Bri Ewing, Washington State University Food and Fermentation Specialist.

Rounding out MOHAI’s multi-month Edible City: A Delicious Journey exhibit, Bri Ewing, Washington State University Food and Fermentation Specialist, teams up with City Fruit to lead the family friendly event, free for museum members, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at MOHAI, 860 Terry Ave. N, Seattle. 

“All cider starts with an apple, and Washington is the apple state,” said Ewing.

With cider apples from the WSU Mount Vernon Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center, Ewing will share the science behind WSU’s new varieties of apples, information on urban orchards, and advice on crafting the perfect hard cider.

“I love creating a completely new product from something else,” said Ewing. “Tiny micro-organisms make these changes for you, converting sugars into alcohol and producing aromas and flavor compounds that turn juice into cider.”

A cider press in action. Photos: Washington State University

As the popularity of cider continues to grow, Washington benefits: the state grows the most apples of any in the nation. And researchers at WSU, like Ewing, work to help growers and cider makers perfect their craft, and keep Washington state at the forefront of the tree fruit industry.

 Scientists at WSU grow more than 60 varieties of apples, and they study fermentation to create the perfect varieties for eating, for cider and for lots of other foods and beverages. WSU apples like Sunrise Magic, a cross between Splendour and Gala, and the brand new Cosmic Crisp, a hybrid of Enterprise and Honeycrisp, are meeting a global demand for a crisper, more delicious eating experience.

“In the next few years, we will see these new varieties in orchards, farms and grocery stores across the Northwest,” Ewing said. “The best is yet to come with Cosmic Crisp.”

In addition to apples, the Rainier cherry, the Meeker raspberry and the Rosa peach were all developed at Washington State University. WSU wheats like Otto and Edison, Lyon barley, and our Elwha River Spelt are made into hearty, healthy breads, noodles and cakes, and high-quality beer. And WSU researchers also constantly improve pears, potatoes, wine grapes, quinoa, hops and mint.

By developing the best varieties of apples, berries and grains, WSU leads the way in making your table nutritious and delicious. And educational opportunities, like the ones offered at the WSU Mount Vernon Cider School and at MOHAI this Saturday, put do-it-yourself tools directly in the community’s hands.

Ewing said she is excited to share her discoveries with families at MOHAI, and to make the science that informs professional cider making accessible.

 Learn more about the cider pressing here.

 Learn more about cider at WSU Mount Vernon here.

Learn more about the MOHAI’s Edible City: A Delicious Journey here.

– Seth Truscott, Washington State University 

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