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Davis, California

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Best of Davis: Farmers Market Treat

Winner: Apple-A-Day Cider

Every week, hundreds of Davis residents gather at the Farmers Market in Central Park to enjoy local artisan foods and beverages, locally grown produce and live entertainment. Of all the delicacies sold at the Farmers Market, the Apple-A-Day apple juice has been voted Best Farmers Market Treat by UC Davis students.

“It feels pretty awesome,” said Melinda Garcia, the vendor of the apple juice, in response to hearing her grandmother’s family owned business was voted Best Farmers Market Treat. “Honestly, we don’t get too many awards like that. It’s really awesome to hear a lot of people say ‘I grew up on this stuff’ or ‘my friend said I had to try this.’ We really thank the people [for] that.”

Garcia’s grandmother has been running sales of the juice for over 30 years. Garcia said that her grandmother took over for the owners who were selling it in the 1990s.

The popular beverage sells at least a hundred bottles a market. Market goers are attracted by the delicious, natural apple juice, though it is technically cider as the label advertises.

“It sells itself,” Garcia said. “At least two to three dozen people come to me and tell me ‘my friend says I have to try this’ every market, nonstop.”

Garcia says that what makes this juice so special is how natural it is. Under the ingredients label, apple juice is the only thing listed.

“It has unique ingredients and it’s not heavily altered like many other juices,” Garcia said. “We have to pasteurize it because we sell to stores. That is the only time we alter the juice.”

The ranch from which the apples are grown and pressed is Ratzlaff Ranch in Sebastopol, Calif. (about 80 miles from Davis). The only ingredient in the apple juice is apples. Apples are pressed for juice and treated by UV lighting to kill bacteria. According to their website, the hydraulic press used to juice the apples squeezes ‘every drop of juice from the apple.’ This process does not produce as much heat as other methods, so the apples keep more of their fresh nutrients. The label on the bottle specifies that this beverage has no additives and is non GMO.

“I like the apple juice a lot,” said Daniel Gonzales, a fourth-year Chicanx studies major. “I feel like it’s really natural compared to other apple juices. It’s one of my favorite things from the farmers market.”

A Yelp picture caption calls it the ‘best, freshest apple juice.’

“It deserves [Best Farmers Market Treat],” said Noelle Tran, a first-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major. “It’s delicious. It’s nice to reward myself with a bottle after a midterm or whenever I’m craving it.”

Apple-A-Day apple cider can be found at the Farmers Market in Downtown Davis every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning. Pint-sized bottles are sold for $2, quart-sized bottles for $3, half gallon-sized bottles for $5 and gallon-sized bottles for $8. Whether enjoyed on a cloudy, windy day or a hot, sunny day, this apple juice does not disappoint!

Written by: Linh Nguyen –– features@theaggie.org


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