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Scrumping

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:23 pm
by Phil White
This evening, I had to translate a piece of German that referenced kids stealing apples. Immediately, I chose the word "scrumping". But for this customer, I have to write for a global audience, so I checked whether "scrumping" is known outside the UK. It appears not.

So here is a chance for all those of you who do not live on the Blessed Isle to enrich your vocabulary with a truly scrumptious (no relation) word. It has one meaning and one meaning only: To steal fruit (usually apples) from an orchard or garden.

As far as I remember, it is only ever used of kids. Adults who steal fruit are thieves. Kids who do the same are simply being kids and are merely scrumping.

For the low-down on the etymology, have a look at Michael Quinion's article. Sadly, I shall not be able to use the word in my translation, but it was a little delight to be reminded of a word from my childhood.

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:16 pm
by trolley
The word sounded vaguely familiar but I wasn't aware of the definition. I scrumped a good deal of apples (and veggies) in my youth. I was not aware of what an awful crime it was until I took up gardening. I'd be after someone's head if I was ever the victim of a garden raid (now that I'm a cranky old man). I know I had seen the word just recently and then it dawned on me. My Dad had recently gone on a tour of a local cidery and brought me back a growler of "Scrumpy". I thought it was just a name.
https://www.merridale.ca/scrumpy

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:35 pm
by Shelley
Anyone who listens, or listened, to The Who will recognize the phrase from the song "5:15", on the album "Quadrophenia":

. . .
Dreadfully sorry
Apple Scrumping.
Born in the war
Birthday punching.
. . .

[But why should I care?]

Credits to: Peter Townshend

Also, there's a bar/restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado called Scrumpy's that specializes in hard apple cider. Ever go there, Ken?
And, there were the Beatles fans hanging around the recording studio dubbed "Applescruffs" . . . (George, I think, came up with that). I know, close but not the same.

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:28 pm
by Phil White
Ah, scrumpy! That brings back memories. The real stuff, not the stuff you can pick up in any supermarket.

Mind you, the memories are primarily of falling over and of anal Armageddon.

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:29 pm
by Rufus Miles
Yes I wonder why the effects can be so violent

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:04 pm
by tony h
Phil White wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:28 pm
Ah, scrumpy! That brings back memories. The real stuff, not the stuff you can pick up in any supermarket.
From my knowledge I am not sure how a commercial manufacturer can produce scrumpy. When I was a kid all the dregs of apples, in all states of decay and little washing, went into the scrumpy bins. The same is true for Pochin - the more damaged the potato the higher the sugar content. Then the method got split into two. The first - just let the natural yeasts on the apples do their work. Like traditional geuze beers the fermentation wasn't very predictable and the alchol production was not great. Modern geuze is produced on such a scale that the yeast is consistant and controlled.

The second method was to add an alcohol tolerant yeast (and maybe some extra sugar) to produce a much higher alcohol drink. The alcohol also sanitises the drink. The reason why mild beer was safer to drink than water . But this only lifts the alcohol level from maybe 10% to (at most) 17%.

Scrumpy was often taken directly from the fermentation bin so with bits of apple and high levels of yeast. My theroy why scrumpy could be devastating is that the high levels of yeast affected those with yeast intolerance. Champagne is a problem for people with yeast intolerance as their is often a higher amount of yeast left in the bottle. But coupled with drinking in fine weather , exercise and a failure to be able to count the number of flagons all leads to a problem.

:)

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 pm
by Shelley
tony h wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:04 pm
Like traditional geuze beers the fermentation wasn't very predictable . . .
. . . as in, for example, the betelgeuze variety, made from crushed insects.

Re: Scrumping

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:43 pm
by tony h
Shelley wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 pm
tony h wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:04 pm
Like traditional geuze beers the fermentation wasn't very predictable . . .
. . . as in, for example, the betelgeuze variety, made from crushed insects.
Well done.
Just for clarification. Geuze beers are supposed to be made in open fermentation bins taking the yeast from skins and air-born divisions. The same is true now, in factory productions, except that the skins are washed, the bins are kept in an enclosed warehouse and the air-born yeast is introduced artificially into the air rather than arriving by chance from across the fields.


Some geuze is still traditional and unreliable but all the more fun for it.

:)