Cider Words: Perry

Cider Words - Perry
Cider Words – Perry

Perry, the step-child of the cider world. It is often overlooked and under appreciated. For example, if you want to increase the residual sweetness of a hard cider naturally, the best way is to add pear juice to your blend. Pears on average have higher sorbitol levels, which can often be enough to give a dry cider just a little smoothness. But why is it called perry? It seems like it would be called peary. Some do call it pear cider but that not really correct either because cider is linked to apples. I ran across an interesting overview on the origin of the term perry and I thought that is the perfect Mālus Trivium topic.

In V.K. Joshi’s book, Science and Technology of Fruit Wines (1), he notes that perry is derived from the late Latin word pera. In old French, that was pere or perey(1), which make it easy to see how those words could lead to the term perry versus peary. In modern French, the word for pear is poire and the word for perry is poiré, which has a different inflection on the ending. Another interesting aspect of pears that I learned is the term “sand pear”, which are different from what are often called European pear. You might be able to identify the different if you think about. Sand pears have what are called stone cells that are quite large and give it a gritty texture while European pears have a smoother texture and are known for fresh eating. Making perry from sand pears can be a great use of this fruit.

(1) V.K. Joshi and associates, Science and Technology of Fruit Wines: An Overview, 2017

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Want more details about making and enjoying cider, check out these posts.

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