Monday, November 17, 2014

Cider Review: McKenzie's Hard Cider Pumpkin Jack

Even though I've seen snow every day since last Thursday, I want to review at least one more autumnal cider before we take the official plunge into winter. Luckily for me, winter doesn't begin technically for another five weeks. (Not that I think upstate New York is listening.) So, I'm pretending that we're still living in an autumnal wonderland for my review of McKenzie's Hard Cider Pumpkin Jack!


 McKenzie's is a widely available cider brand where I live, but I honestly don't know how common it is out of state. Commentors are encouraged to enlighten me! Their ciders are made here in upstate NY. The website has plenty more information here: http://www.mckenziesbeverages.com/.

While I love learning in-depth information about fermentation techniques and apples choices, I must say that the coolest thing on the McKenzie's website is a huge and varied page of cider facts, http://www.mckenziesbeverages.com/cider-facts. There's plenty of party trivia here!

McKenzie's Ciders have come up in my blog a few times. Here you can read all of my earlier reviews.

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/07/cider-review-mckenzies-hard-cider.html

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/08/cider-review-mckenzies-lazy-lemon.html

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/12/cider-review-mckenzies-hand-pressed.html

But tonight, I'm not worried about anything except the Pumpkin Jack. We'll see exactly what this variation on the current pumpkin craze (and it is a craze) is all about. McKenzie's official description is a bit light on information, but it says, "Who Needs Pumpkin Pie When You Can Have This! It’s All Treats & No Tricks with McKenzie’s 'Pumpkin Jack' Fall Seasonal Hard Cider! This selective Seasonal uses only the finest real pumpkin and fall spices to enhance and excite both your nose and your taste buds!" From this, I can expect some pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices in the cider. Let's see how it looks out of the bottle, and more importantly, how it tastes.

 
Appearance: brilliant, pumpkin orange, a few super tiny visible bubbles

It is almost a shame to sell this in a tinted bottle because the intense pumpkin orange of the cider really supports the branding. It is gorgeous and super fall pretty in the glass.

Aroma: Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Spicy, Salty?

The smells that this cider offers are far more spice than pumpkin and far more pumpkin pie than cider or apple of any sort. Not that every cider has to taste and smell just exactly like apple. This smells more like nutmeg, pumpkin pie spices, and an odd little hint of salt.

Sweetness/Dryness: Sweet!

This is decidedly sweet with a dark raisiny sweetness. As far as the  many, nearly infinite, types of sweet out there, this is one of the best.

Flavors and drinking experience: very sweet, desserty, mild carbonation

Nuance is not the strong suite of this particular cider, but it is completely fun. If one lets go of any sense of expectation save that of pumpkin pie, this cider really delivers that. It is sweeter than many pumpkin pies, but it has a few phases of flavor. It starts with a hit of sweet, goes spicy but cool, and offers a more gently sweet finish.

 
The Pumpkin Jack tastes very interesting, but it is not something I could drink regularly. I think I'd be more likely to use it to make a reduction and turn it into a dessert sauce. Pumpkin Jack has loads of flavor and for those who cannot get enough pumpkin spice, it would likely be a total winner.

I paired my Pumpkin Jack cider with a spicy chili for a bit of counterpoint. Sweetness is my favorite accompaniment to culinary heat. I enjoyed it that way plenty.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cider Review: Bad Seed's Belgian Abbey Hard Cider

 

Though the Hudson Valley cider scene is physically close to us here in the Finger Lakes, I've felt surprised by the relative separateness of our cider scenes. Nonetheless, I always try to pick up these ciders when I see them for sale. Hence, my review of Bad Seed's Belgian Abbey Hard Cider.

The last time I reviewed a Bad Seed cider it was their IPC (India Pale Cider) back in September of 2013. You can read the review here: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/08/cider-review-bad-seed-ipc-india-pale.html Theyve come a long way since then and even longer since Bad Seed was started by two friends in 2011. Now they even have website: http://www.badseedhardcider.com/ in addition to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Badseedcider.

In reading Bad Seed's website, the most fascinating writing I found says, "We seek to advance the craft cider industry through mixing both old and new cider techniques and craft beer influences. Making ciders from 100% fresh pressed apples grown by us on a 6th generation family farm with no Alchemy used, after all this is cider not science. You wont find the endless list of chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and excuses on our label because we don't use them." Alchemy, eh? I hadn't known that was a major issue in the industry, but what a fascinating idea.

This is what Bad Seed says about their own Belgian Abbey Hard Cider: "If Belgian Monks only found this the higher purpose of the apple, Crafted from apples grown in the Hudson Valley , fermented with a Belgian abbey beer yeast, unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Tart, tangy, Dry and a little off beat like a Bad seed should be." This cider has a very middle of the road 6.3% ABV, making it nice and easy with meals.

 
Appearance: Hazy bubbly lemon sorbet color

Aromas: beery, yeasty, citrusy

First and foremost, this cider smells like beer. Behind the intense beer smells, I can also detect some citrus and maybe maybe a hint of apple. Mostly though the yeast choice makes itself clear in the aromas of the Belgian Abbey Hard Cider.

Sweetness: Dry

Absolutely bone dry. Both from the copy on the website and the dryness of this cider, I'm confident saying that the Belgian Abbey Hard Cider has been bottle conditioned.

Flavors and Drinking experience: beer-like, bitter, bubbly

Unsurprisingly based on the aromas, this cider tastes very beer-like to me, mind you I don't usually drink beer. Somehow though, the bitterness and citrus notes just say beer to me. The Belgian Abbey is very bubbly too, but not very appley. This isn't a problem; ciders don't have to be very fruity or appley and this one is not. As I drink on, it seems almost burly and definitely burpy. I can taste hints of something savory: celery, fennel and pepper. And I get a consistent minerality. The only true fruit note is grapefruit pith. Very interesting. This cider is definitely low in tannins, medium low acid, and no sweetness.

My impression is that it is so dominated by the yeast choice that if you like that you'll like the cider and if you don't, you won't. The Belgian Abbey even pours with a lot of yeast at the bottom if the bottle when compared to other bottle conditioned ciders.


This cider made a great match with vegetarian chicken dumpling soup. I would always choose to pair the Belgian Abbey Hard Cider with salty food. Its combination of citrusy notes, extreme bubbliness, and bitter beery edge complement salt and heft extremely well. With food, I liked this one a lot, but I think it needs food: at least for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cider Review: Vintage Henney's Still Cider 2012

 
If you read here regularly, you may have come to suspect a certain style bias in my cider drinking. I love many many sorts of cider, but higher tannin ciders often with some oak and funk to them are frequently favorites. I've been teased for preferring English-style ciders as much as I love UK bands or Victorian literature. I suppose I should confess. I am, in fact, guilty as charged.

So, when I chose a cider to relax with on a dark chilly night recently, my expectations rose when I chose an English cider by a company I've never tried before. Henney's is based out of Worcester, England and the founder Mike Henney has been making cider since 1996. I got my bottle of Henney's Vintage Dry from Franklin County Cider Days last year when bottles left over from the two cider salons were sold at incredibly reasonable prices at the end of the harvest dinner. I spaced out my enjoying of these hard to find ciders, but I believe this bottle was my last of that haul.

Speaking of Franklin County Cider Days, I highly encourage everyone to go. You can read about the cider celebration here: http://www.ciderdays.org/ (It just breaks my heart that I cannot go this year.)

(I wrote about my fabulous experiences there last year in this entry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/11/franklin-county-cider-days-2013-few.html

All my adoration of Franklin County Cider Days aside, it pleases me to no end to get to review something so unfamiliar and intriguing.

Henney's website is beautiful. Lots of use of illustration and clean simple graphic design. They don't go into vast detailed explainations, but they do talk about apple varieties specifically naming Dabinette, Ashton Bitter, Michelin, Yarlington Mill, and Tremlett's Bitter as varieties they prefer. Their website can be found at: www.henneys.co.uk/

This is what they have to say about the Vintage Dry 2012

"Henneys Vintage is made from a single year’s pressing and is naturally still. It is dry in style with a rich and flavoursome palate. This vintage cider is made from a single year’s harvest. It is naturally still and has been only coarsely filtered in order to retain as much flavour as possible. Sip or quaff, we don’t mind, as long as you enjoy it. Cheers!"


Appearance: Dark reddish orange, brilliant, obviously still

I know I go rather off the charts in my associative color descriptions, but you'll find no apologies for that here. This color reminds me of certain fall leaves, dark amber grade B maple syrup, or cinnabar. This is a color for the smell of woodsmoke and the crunch of leaves already fallen to the ground.

Aromas: woody, tannic, hints of fruit
 
Though the primary smell is apple, it offers something more specific: the deep dark but subtle sweet aura of bittersweet cider apples. At this point that smell just means tannins to me. The fact that this comes along with hints of wood and leather, make that prediction a safe one.
 
Sweetness: off dry
 
This is not a completely dry cider, but what sweetness is there is entirely fruity and understated. I think this is a textbook definition of off dry.
 
Flavors and drinking experience: tannins, astrigency, farmy, approachable
 
This cider is so tannic that it starts to dry the mouth and cause a peculiar but very pleasant feeling of astrigency and puckering. Definitely not for everyone, but I adored it. It also has notes of rocks and mist but without tasting watery. This is a tremendously interesting cider with just a bit of farminess to it. The mouthfeel creeps up on being cottony. Very English. I appreciate that the ABV is only 6.5% which keeps it very refreshing and drinkable.
 
In my enthusiasm for tannins and texture I don't want to forget about fruit because this has some lovely overripe apple characteristics along with hints of jam and biscuit dough.  At one point, tasting this cider provoked me to say, "Sweet sweet Pomona, thou art good," If that helps to indicate my level of enthusiasm.
 
Ideally, I'd have this with something creamy and spicy with a hint of seafood saltiness, like a shrimp curry with loads of coconut milk. I'd want something with broth and liquid just to balance out the drying characteristics of the cider, but also something flavorful and stimulating. Anything bland or too mild would simply fade in the presence of so much flavor.

This is not a cider for everyone, but it is certainly one for me!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cider Review: Blackbird Ciders' Orchardist's Reserve

So, one of my goals for Finger Lakes Craft Cider Week was to try as many of the unfamiliar cideries as I could. While I didn't make it out to all of the Cider Week events, I did what I could to try new things and this is my first review from that process. I got my hands on some Black Bird Cider Works' Orchardist's Reserve. But before I dive right into the cider, let's learn a bit about the folks who make it.

This is how Black Bird Cider Works introduces themselves on their website (which you can visit here http://blackbirdciders.com):
BlackBird Cider Works is proud to be Niagara County’s sole craft hard cider producer. Nestled on a beautiful farm overlooking Lake Ontario, we produce hard ciders made from apples grown in our own orchard. We boast a variety of ciders ranging from dry to sweet, including some made from certified organic apples. Our on-property tasting room is open seven days a week, offering samples of our current craft cider selection, as well as bottle sales. Stop by the cidery for a tasting, grab some BlackBird merchandise, and discover why we’re Western New York’s premier craft cider producer.
 Their exact location is Barker, New York and one of the really cool things about Black Bird Cider Works is that the cidery and orchard are all part of one location. Black Bird grows all of their own fruit, including both cider varieties of apples and organic apples. Both fairly rare situations and quite special.

I love that Black Bird Cider Works has a tasting room. Perhaps I've become partial over the months I've been involved with one, but there's really something wonderful to say about both seeing the premises for the beverage you are trying and about seeing how customers respond to your ciders.

Now onto Black Bird Cider Works' Orchardist's Reserve!

As I often do, I think it is useful to begin with the cidermaker's official description: "A Blend of six varieties of apples including New York State favorites like the Empire, Cortland & Jonagold apples. With an apple essence on the nose & a light refreshing taste, this cider has a clean finish." To me, this just gives me a good baseline for what to expect so that I approach the cider on its own terms.



Appearance: lots of color, no visible  bubbles, brilliant

This cider shows great color, a deep autumnal gold with hidden hints of green. As the photo shows, there are simply no visible bubbles or haze. It looks so unbubbly that there might not be any sparkle in this cider at all. We'll see.

Aromas: warmed apples, wood, booze

This smells immediately of warm overripe apples, yum. I can get notes of wood shavings, things that remind me of both beer and wine, so I guess I'm just smelling a more notable than usual booziness to the bouquet. Somehow the smell also makes me think of dusty hot slow afternoons in an attic or a barn. Perhaps thats more memory than smell though.

Sweetness/Dryness: Semi-sweet

I know the bottle tells me that this cider will be semi-dry, but I don't get that at all. Semi-sweet is my official recommendation even taking into account that my personal palate is calibrated with some real sensitivity to sweetness. 

Flavors and drinking experience: petillant, fruity, green, sweet finish

As the appearance suggested, this cider is just slightly petillant. In terms of flavor, what I notice most is the fruity mid-palate. At that moment, I can taste tangerines, cucumber, all kinds of summer fruit backed with hints of green ultrafresh bitterness. Pleasantly complex. Somehow this just tastes so much like summer. Perhaps it is the hits of lake water minerality. Or somehow the combination of tannins and a sweet powdered sugar finish. I'm not entirely sure. My only real critique has to be in mouthfeel. I prefer a crisper feel with real acid but the Orchardist's Reserve offers more of a soft giving mouthfeel, especially after the initial burst of texture and flavor.

As for pairing, I'd put this with one last summery salad. Even up here in upstate New York, I can still get really good bell peppers and greens. So, I'd chop up every fresh crisp vegetable in the house into a grand finale of a salad, add a good splash of lemon and feta dressing, then drink up this cider right with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cider Review: Nine Pin Cider Works' Ginger



Pumpkin and pumpkin spice are frequently touted as the flavors of fall, followed closely by all things apple. But I'd like to propose another contender, ginger. Especially when paired with apple, as in this cider by Nine Pin Cider Works, the balance of spice, heat, fruit, and zing is extremely autumnal. The air feels crisp; the chilly nights inspire warm fires indoors or out, and everything is bright for one last hurrah before the winter. Ginger suits this perfectly. But can bright spicy ginger combine well with hard cider? (My only previous review of a ginger cider combination can be investigated here: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/07/cider-review-millstone-cellars-gingeroot.html)

This question informs my review of the new ginger cider by Albany's youngest cidery, Nine Pin Cider Works.

You can check out all of their new cider styles and their full schedule of cider happenings on their website: http://www.ninepincider.com/

It looks like they've really jumped in the cider scene enthusiastically since their relatively recent opening.  Their only previous appearance in this blog comes from my review of their first cider, called their Signature Blend: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/04/cider-review-nine-pin-cider-works-nine.html
Alejandro del Peral, Nine Pin's cider maker has expanded their lineup quickly and now Nine Pin offers the Ginger, Belgian, and Hunny Pear as well.

Here's what Nine Pin says about their ginger cider, "Ginger – A spicy yet balanced cider created from a blend of dessert apples from Samascott Orchards and infused with ginger and orange peel."

I love that Ninepin is going for something spicy and also adding the orange notes. I'm so curious to taste how it will all work together.


Appearance: pale, brilliant

Somehow this color reminds me of a certain shade of sunrise when rose and gold combine with pale delicacy. Poetics of color aside, this is a beautiful brilliant cider without a hint of haze. 

Aromas: fresh apple, some ginger, spices

When I lift my glass, I can immediately smell apple. It is a fresh clean apple scent rather than something more ripe or warm. In the background, ginger and spice both appear but remain very separate from the apple.

Sweetness: Semi-dry

Though it is a bit more difficult to assess the sweetness or dryness of a flavored cider, at least for me, this one is doubtlessly a semi-dry. It has fruit and body as well as spice but these things always function in balance. The mouthfeel and finish contribute to the cider's functioning as a semi-dry. This makes it pleasantly approachable and enjoyable for folks with a wide array of preferences.

Flavors and drinking experience: genuine ginger flavor coordinated with orange zestiness

Wow! This cider has a very real ginger taste. It drinks just a touch spicy while staying nicely balanced. The ginger does not dominate the cider completely but it is a primary aspect of this cider. Rather than tasting like a flavored cider it drinks like apple, orange, and spicy ginger altogether. I am impressed by how tremendously well these flavors combine.

The Ginger offers a good level of carbonation for me, which means it is strongly sparkling. I enjoyed this cider before reading any descriptions or notes, but once I read about the infusion of orange peel it made all the sense in the world.

For reasons of practicality, I had this with a couple of non traditional pairings because my fridge was so filled with party leftovers. I could not in good conscious cook something new, so I asked the Ninepin Ginger to work with what I had. That means I tried it with tabbouleh salad, tortilla soup, and white chocolate tequila-soaked jalapenos. Trust me it worked.
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finger Lakes Craft Cider Week is Less Than Two Weeks Away!


The time is nearly here for Finger Lakes Craft Cider Week!

Cider Week is a growing way for groups of cider makers and enthusiasts to get together and celebrate the finest of all libations, hard cider! There are a number of Cider Weeks in the United States now and some of them having been going on for a few years now. This will be the third Finger Lakes Cider Week!

The actual dates are October 3rd through 12th, 2014. There will be cider events galore all over the region. Find out more at http://www.ciderweekflx.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ciderweekflx

So, to help get people as excited as I am for the upcoming festivities, I thought I'd mention a few of the upcoming events and link back to my coverage both of last year's Cider Week and of the participating cideries that I've featured or reviewed in the past. That way you'll know a bit more about what you could be drinking soon at Cider Week!



My Participation Last Year

In 2013, I was lucky enough to be invited to help run a cheese and cider pairing event at The Cellar D'Or which is still a huge favorite of mine. We paired ciders and cheeses from the local to the international and had a great time. I know they're doing tons for Cider Week again this year.

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/12/cider-and-cheese-pairings-cider-week.html


Here's just a bit of link roundup for reviews I've done in the past on ciders from cideries that will be participating in Cider Week again this year. 

Highlights of Cider Week 2014


• Friday- Sunday October 3-5: Apple Harvest Festival with cider sampling, apple tasting, pies, rides, and more, Ithaca 

• Friday October 3 (5-8pm):  Cider Week Kickoff Tasting at The Cellar D'Or with Eve's Cidery, Bellwether Cidery, and Redbyrd Orchard Cider, Ithaca
 
• Tuesday. October 7 (7pm): Science Cabaret with Dr. Gavin Sacks @ Lot 10, Ithaca

• Wed. October 8 Free Cider Tasting at Seneca Falls Farmer's Market, Seneca Falls
 
• Wed. October 8: Cider Flights and Tasting Event @ Microclimate Wine Bar, Geneva

• Thu. October 9: Cider Party for the Library’s 40th! @ Durland Alternatives Library, Ithaca

• Fri. October 10 (5-8pm) Local and International Cider tasting at The Cellar D'Or with Blackbird Cider Works, Ithaca 

• Fri. October 10 (8-11pm): Cider Stomp @ the Chanticleer Loft, Ithaca
 
• Sat. October 11 (11am, 1pm): Orchard and Cidery Tours @ Black Diamond Farms, Trumansburg

• Sat. October 11 (3-7pm): Gifts of the Apple family event @ the Good Life Farm, Interlaken

 • Sat. October 11 (5-8pm): Free Cider Tasting at Greenstar Coop with Bellwether Ciders
 
• Sun. October 12 (8am-5pm): Build Your Own Cider Press and Cider Making Workshop @ Hammerstone School, Trumansburg (requires pre-registration) 
 
 This is just a smattering of events from the week. Restaurants, bars, groceries, farms, and more will be featuring hard cider in all kinds of ways.

Cider Week Cideries I've Reviewed

Harvest Moon Cidery

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-harvest-moon-heritage-hops.html


Eve's Cidery

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-eves-ciderys-autumns-gold.html

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/10/cider-review-eves-ciderys-beckhorn.html



Redbyrd Orchard Cider

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/12/cider-review-reddbyrd-2013-harvest-cider.html

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/10/finger-lakes-cider-week-special-review.html



Beak and Skiff's 1911 Hard Cider

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/06/cider-review-beak-and-skiffs-1911.html



Bellwether Cidery

http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/03/cider-review-bellwethers-liberty-spy.html



Cider Week Cideries I Still Need to Review

Black Diamond Farm Ciders
Steampunk Cider
Black Bird Cider Works
South Hill Cider
Hazlitt's Cider Tree
Three Bros. Winery

How many of those can I get good notes on before the end of cider week? Do you think I can collect all six? I might just try.

(Full Disclosure: I'm a volunteer for Cider Week. I'm part of the team that's trying to bring you free cider and fun.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cider Review: Whetstone Ciderworks' Orchard King


Today feels like fall. Though the season doesn't officially start until the equinox on Sunday, the mornings are crisply cool, leaves are changing color, and apple harvest has started for the year.  I love these earlier cooler nights, for that that it means that winter and real cold cannot be too far behind. It is a season for visitors here in Ithaca, and today's review is for a cider I shared with dear visiting friends recently. They like dry challenging ciders, so I pulled out something I thought might be a bit special, Whetstone Ciderworks' Orchard King.

Here's a bit of background on Whetsone Ciderworks that I found on their website. The company has been around since 2010. Jason and Lauren MacArthur started Whetstone Ciderworks in Marlboro, Vermont. They appear to have a few really interesting identifying features as a cidery.

They do focus on local fruit. This what they have to say about that, "All of the apples we use are grown locally- this past year, most were from Scott Farm in Dummerston, some from Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, NH, and even a few from our own small orchard."

This, plus the description of Jason MacArthur's winemaking influence make me really excited to try their ciders. I love it when cidermakers show a genuine focus on apples, climate, and the under-realized similarities of cider and wine making. Anyhow, that's my own bias talking.

You can find out plenty more on their actual site http://www.whetstoneciderworks.com/ or their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whetstone-CiderWorks/209863572381300

In looking at a few Whetstone Ciders, I though I'd start by sharing and reviewing their Orchard King. It sounds complex and truly expressive of their cider-making goals.

Here's what Whetsone has to say about their Orchard King, "This extra-dry, bottle-conditioned cider is effervescent and refreshing. Yarlington Mill, Orleans Reinette, and Major are among the apples that impart tastes of citrus and apple, leading to a delicate, smoky finish. A fabulous 'cocktail hour' cider."

This cider is sold in 750ml bottles and has an ABV of 7.5%.



Appearance: cloudy, deep creamy color, very little visible bubbling

I can see a ring of very fine bubbles around the edge of the glass and a few tiny islands of bubbles, but not much more. This cider is hazy to cloudy and shows signs of being bottle conditioned. This matches the official description, so that's good. The cider is a creamy rich gold in color.

Aromas: Leather, Ripe Apples, Clay

The Orchard King smells fascinating, rather like leather and limestone and deliciously ripe apples. I also detect notes that remind me of wood and clay. One of my fellow tasters got hint of lily aromas, and I think she's spot on. I get some phenols but not to a distracting or negative degree. I really enjoy how rich and complex this cider smells.

Sweetness or dryness: Dry

Definitely at dry cider! This doesn't taste the least bit sweet until the finish, but then some hints of warm sweet oats and breadiness kick in. I love the dryness and the shift just at the last moment. Very interesting.

Flavors and drinking experience: high tannins, medium high acid, some degree of farminess

The Orchard King tastes monstrously tannic and fabulous. This cider comes across as lightly fizzy more than deeply bubbly. It shows a bit of farm funk with some hints of metallic flavors. The Orchard King balances that weight of tannins and funk with some intense acidity, making this a complex and bombastic cider. It tastes very rustic, even a bit medieval.

I enjoyed this with grapes, cheese, cookies, and wonderful friends. I think they were the most important accompaniment to this cider. It doesn't need lot in the way of foods. The Orchard King offers enough interest and flavor to stand on its own, but it could also easily pair with hearty foods. I would not enjoy this cider so much with anything super spicy or acidity, but balance it out with non-competing flavors like farmhouse bread, cheese, and fruits.