Bensoir! It's me, Benjamin. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You may have read stuff I've written elsewhere, but here on my own blog as Ben Viveur I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others, so pretty much anything goes.

BV is about enjoying real food and drink in the real world. I showcase recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. And as a critic I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended. Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Perry, Pear Cider and Pedantry

If there's one thing worse than petty pedantry, it's petty pedantry that isn't even fucking correct.

We don't hide behind snowflake protection screens around here. Some people are Complete Fucking Retards. Some people are Insufferable Pedants. And some manage to be both a CFR and an IP concurrently.

Especially when the discussion involves the words 'pear' and 'cider'. And usually a defiant 'perry'.

I'm talking about the sort of really annoying IP who, if you ask them at a quarter past midnight how their evening is going, will point out that 'it's actually the morning now'

At least, they would, if they weren't safely ensconced at home at that time posting on social media, lurking, waiting for someone to talk about 'pear cider'. At which point they can triumphantly chime in with 'Perry! you mean Perry! There's no such thing as Pear Cider!!!1one11'

And the thing is, they're not even necessarily right.


There is such a thing as Pear Cider; it and Perry are two subtly different things, and I shall now endeavour to explain the distinction between the two for the benefit of the IPs, the CFRs and anybody else who might happen to be interested.

Apples and Pears
Here goes:

Cider is a drink made entirely, or almost entirely, from apples. (Yes, the better ones generally use pure juice and some of the rubbishy ones use apple concentrate, but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of this discussion...)

Perry is the pear equivalent of cider, made entirely, or almost entirely, from pears.

Are you with me so far? Good.

Before we get to Pear Cider, let us introduce a new variable to the mix and consider 'Blackcurrant Cider'. And 'Strawberry Cider'. Hell, why not, these are all things that exist now, right?

Are these drinks made entirely from blackcurrants and strawberries? Nope. They use a mostly apple base, with bits of another fruit added for flavour. Nobody argues that a cider with a hint of Blackcurrant should be called a Cassis, do they?

Ergo, Pear Cider, as opposed to Perry, is that which is made mostly from apples, but with a bit of pear added to give it a peary flavour.

See. They are two different things.

So, yes, all you marketing cunts calling a Perry 'Pear Cider' are wrong. But you CFR-IPs who insist that it must be Perry and that Pear Cider does not or cannot exist are wrong too.

More to the point, and perhaps to indulge in a little pedantry myself, many of the products that people like to insist are 'Perry, actually; there is no such thing as Pear Cider!!111pedantry11' would technically fall into the pear cider category, being made with a substantial proportion of apple juice or concentrate...

And with that, I've probably out-pedantified everyone, so I'm off to try and find myself a nice Blackberry and Apple Cider made from 100% perry pears...

1 comment:

Comments are always welcomed and encouraged, especially interesting, thought-provoking contributions and outrageous suggestions.