The outside smells of fall: the leaves changing color, the cool air, and pumpkins on peoples doorsteps ready for carving. Fall is my favorite season, and every day of fall I love to go outside and feel the damp, cool air on my face and watch the leaves slowly change color.
A Fall Like None Other
While fall in any city still holds some magic for me, there is nothing like experiencing fall in Michigan. Other states have beautiful leaves turning, some may have excellent pumpkin pies, sweet maple syrup, and some delicious tart apples pressed into cider. But when it comes to Michigan, there is no other place like it that houses all of these.
Not only can you buy some of the country’s best maple syrup in Michigan, but you can go to many farms and watch it being made. Then, pick out a bottle of syrup that was filled right in front of your eyes. Massive pumpkins start to line up outside the homes starting at the beginning of the month, and not long from now you can easily see some of the most artistic carvings and funny faces. There are so many trees in Michigan, so it’s amazing how you can slowly watch the colors change from golds and reds to a subtle brown that float to the ground.
Although, none of thoes things compare to my favorite part of fall in Michigan: apple cider. OK, so you can buy apple cider in other states, and you can even buy some shipped in pasteurised cider that can barely even resemble its namesake. But, drinking a cold glass of cider after it had been freshly pressed and filtered right in front of you is like no other comfort drink I know. Only in Michigan do the apples grow with such a taste that gives the apple cider such an amazing flavor. This flavor can only be achieved purely by only pressing the apples; this means no pasteurization and no sugars added.
Robinette’s Orchard and Apple Haus
I have the most fond memories of growing up visiting Robinette’s Orchard in my hometown of Grand Rapids. You would walk in and got to watch as the Mr. Robinette himself would layer huge squares of fabric with pulverized apples in between. He would then hand crank a huge piece of steel that would squish the apples and make cider. The cider was then poured into bottles and given to the hungry customers watching.
After you had gotten your gallon or more of cider, you would walk into the next room and press your face up to a glass window that went into the kitchen. Inside Mrs. Robinette and a crew of a few old ladies would make fresh doughnuts, only regular and pumpkin spice cake doughnuts were made and tasted heavenly.
After growing up on such amazing apple cider, I refuse to drink it from any other state; and especially if it has been pasteurized! While you can buy ultra-pasteurized cider at your local grocery-store, the flavor is that of a tart apple juice and does not have the depth and almost fermented flavor of true, fresh cider.
It’s only good cider if it only lasts for about 6 days before going bad in your fridge. Which, beyond that point it is great for making a hard cider, but that’s another story. While I wish that there would be some way to overnight a gallon or two from Michigan to my school in Denver, I know that it would never be the same as drinking a glass with your family wrapped up on the porch, watching the leaves change.