Published on February 17th, 2024 | by Geraldine Provost


Decoding French Ciders: Perfect Pairings for Your Crêpes

Indulging in the delicate folds of a freshly made crêpe is a culinary experience like no other, but when it comes to elevating this classic French treat, there’s one accompaniment that reigns supreme: cider. As Mardi Gras festivities beckon for French Quarter Magazine on March 2nd, we invite you to delve into the world of French ciders and discover the perfect pairing for your savory or sweet crêpes.

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The Cider-Making Process: From Orchard to Glass

In the heartland of Brittany and Normandy, cider production is a time-honored tradition that unfolds amidst the picturesque orchards of the French countryside. Harvest season, spanning from mid-September through December, sees ripe apples handpicked, sorted, washed, and crushed — skins, flesh, and seeds alike — before undergoing the transformative journey into the cider we know and love.

A Spectrum of Flavors: Exploring French Ciders

Much like its vinous counterpart, cider boasts a diverse array of styles, each offering a unique flavor profile and character. From the dry and robust to the sweet and effervescent, there’s a cider to suit every palate and occasion.

  • Cidre Brut (Dry Cider): With its elevated alcohol content ranging from 4.5% to 6.5%, cidre brut is the perfect accompaniment to savory dishes, such as meats, creamy sauces, and seafood. Its crisp acidity and complex flavors complement the richness of these fare, creating a harmonious marriage of tastes.
  • Cidre Demi-Brut (Semi-Dry Cider): Falling between dry and sweet, cidre demi-brut strikes a delicate balance with its alcohol content ranging from 3% to 4.5%. This versatile cider pairs beautifully with white meat, fish, charcuterie, and cheese, enhancing the flavors of these dishes without overpowering them.
  • Cidre Doux (Sweet Cider): Characterized by its higher sugar content of at least 35g per liter and low alcohol content (less than 3% vol.), cidre doux is the epitome of indulgence. Its luscious sweetness makes it the ideal companion for pastries and desserts, elevating the experience of every bite with its velvety texture and subtle fruitiness.
  • Rosé Cider: Crafted from red-skinned apples, rosé cider boasts a natural pink hue and a gentle, fruity flavor profile. With a modest alcohol content of around 3%, it is often served as an aperitif or paired with white meat or fruit desserts, lending a touch of elegance to any occasion.

Photo by Ehioma Osih: