The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar
At Botivo, we want to show people the power of our carefully sourced ingredients. Probably the most important ingredient to our non-alcoholic aperitif, apple cider vinegar is the wonderful result of nature fermenting over and over again.
For 1000s of years, humans have drunk apple cider vinegar as part of a healthy lifestyle with many swearing by its nutritional benefits. Whilst we understand that many of the claims made are more folk remedy than scientific fact, we like to think that our ancestors were onto something.
So, who better to tell you about apple cider vinegar than Becci Paterson, our ACV supplier from Ostlers Cider Mill in North Devon.
1. Can you tell us how you came to be the owner of your beautiful apple orchard in North Devon?
My father got the land in 1987, I came along in 2009 and have lived here ever since.
2. How long does each apple harvest take to collect?
Each year is different, depending on how large our crop is and the team of apple pickers here. Luckily I have a great team of apple pickers that return now every year. We also purchased a little vineyard tractor and had an apple picking machine shipped over from Austria a couple of years ago, which has changed things completely! My established orchard here is all on a steep slope, so harvesting has proved a challenge and used to be all done by hand, so you can imagine the hard work that has gone into picking apples over the years!
3. Tell us a bit about the process of making ACV from apple to vinegar?
The secret to the quality of our cider vinegar is the fact that we use traditional cider apples and then… time. We press the juice which first ferments and then we let the air in so the alcohol turns to acetic acid. In the tanks we use, the whole process takes about 3 years.
4. What is the ‘mother’ and does it add nutrients to the vinegar?
The unfiltered and unrefined vinegar with cloudy and murky appearance is called apple cider vinegar with "mother". It is used for drinking purposes and has many health benefits due to the presence of beneficial bacteria, yeast and protein. My father always used to tell people to drink it as it was 'the best bit', it does have the appearance of slime though, so good luck with that!
5. Can you tell us about the health benefits of drinking raw vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits, the feedback we get from the people it has helped really makes our day! We find here that the best results are for arthritis, gout and acid reflux. We believe that nature used to have all the medicines needed and apple cider vinegar dates back to Hippocrates in 460BC, so it has stood the test of time! Modern day living has probably changed this though as people look to more man-made remedies for solutions. Incorporating ACV into your diet will almost certainly have positive effects on your daily life!
6. What makes Ostlers vinegar so delicious?
We believe that our apple cider vinegar is so delicious because we run a small, artisanal, family run business that still cares a lot about the way we farm and the products we make. We plan to always farm like this!