Saturday, August 1, 2015

Washington Weekend ~ Apples Found Round-the-World


For the next few weeks our seasonal “Washington Weekend” posts return to TravelnWrite. In them we’ll take you along with us on road trips and ‘staycations’ in the Pacific Northwest’s, Evergreen State. The series begins, however, on the other side of the world. . .

We’d flown to the other side of the world – 11,149 air miles or 17,942 air kilometers – in April to board Oceania’s Nautica in Bangkok, Thailand for a cruise to Istanbul, Turkey.

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Back-of-the-seat monitors let you track your travel on Emirates Airlines

By whatever measurement, miles or kilometers, we were a long way from anything Washington State. . .or so we thought, until. . .

. . . we went into a grocery store just down the road from The Peninsula Hotel where we were staying in Bangkok. Grocery stores are among our favorite places to ‘tour’ when traveling because we find local foods interesting.  And sometimes the food isn’t always local, as we found out when we found ourselves standing before a display of Washington State apples.

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Apple display - Bangkok, Thailand
Pretty cool, we thought. (If you are new to the blog, you may not know that our childhood and early adult roots are in Washington State apple country; in fact, The Scout’s family were apple orchardists in Chelan. Therefore, the apple holds a special place in our hearts.)

The following week, in Phuket, Thailand, our third port of call, we’d sought shelter from the heat in a large retail complex which housed a large, very modern grocery store. Once again, we happened upon Washington State apples. Quite a selection as a matter of fact:

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Washington Apples - Phuket, Thailand
(Although larger, Washington apple display didn’t quite compare with the ‘gift-wrapped’ Asian-grown variety next to them. Of course, by then we were taking ‘ownership’ in these Washington grown fruits and predicted that ‘ours’ probably tasted far better):

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Asian apple display - Phuket, Thailand
It wasn’t until we reached India that we really were reminded of the far reaching impact of our state’s apple industry. I have to admit the salesmen at the Mumbai fruit and vegetable market couldn’t get over my fascination with the apples we found for sale. But it seemed there was a Washington State apple box at every turn.

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Washington apples were everywhere in the Mumbai market
India, we’ve since learned, was the fifth largest importer of Washington apples in 2013/14 with some 2.3 million boxes shipped there, according to the Washington State Apple Commission. (For those who like stats, Mexico was the largest importer at 10.5 million, followed by Canada, UAE (Dubai) and Taiwan).

The Commission reports that about 30% of the state’s apples are exported to 60 countries in the world!.  We probably could have found them everywhere we stopped, had we taken the time to look!

Apple Country travel is close to Home

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Apple orchard above Manson at Lake Chelan

The good news for those of us living in – or those visiting – Washington State is that apple country is easily reached within a few hours drive – no need to fly half-way around the world to find a great apple. Since wine country has co-mingled itself in the state’s orchard country, it is easy to follow Washington’s wine roads and find yourself in the midst of apple country as well. 

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Apple orchard Yakima with Mount Adams in background
There are still 175,000 acres of apples grown here, primarily in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Apple harvest begins in mid-August and generally ends in early November.
Notice the similarities between the wine region and apple land maps below.




We’ll pay more attention to those apple trees the next time we take a Washington road trip – no telling where in the world we might find ourselves and those apples being harvested the next time!

IMG_5100Again thanks so much for the time you spent with us today.

Have you found a taste of home on your travels? If so, please share the story in the comments below.

Our Magic Carpet lands in Myanmar in our next post. Hope you’ll be here when it does.  We are linking with Mosaic Monday so stop by there if you get a chance!

Until then, thanks to the Washington State Apple Commission for letting us reprint these fun facts about Washington’s apple crop:

 

 

Apple Crop Fun Facts

  • 10 - 12 billion apples are handpicked in Washington State each year.
  • Each Washington apple is picked by hand. There are no harvest machines to pick apples.
  • If you put all of the Washington State apples picked in a year side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times.
  • About 2,500 known varieties of apples are grown in the United States. More than 7,500 are grown worldwide.
  • Last year, the average U.S. consumer ate 19 pounds of fresh apples.
  • Red Delicious is the apple variety named as favorite by most consumers.
  • Apples are the largest agricultural product grown in Washington State.
  • Apples originated in Kazakhstan and were carried east by traders on the Silk Road.
  • The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.
  • Apple seeds are like people; you will never get the exact same type of apple from a planted seed.
  • The Red Delicious apple began life as a chance seedling on an Iowa farm. A chance seedling is a viable apple variety that grows from a seed.

21 comments:

  1. Hello, that is amazing your have seen the Washington Apples in these exotic places. I like the apple crop fun facts. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. Hi Eileen, I loved those fun facts as well and was so happy when they said I could reprint them on the blog! Have a great week~

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  2. I think you need to make finding Washington apples in every port your new challenge.

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    1. It was an impromptu scavenger hunt of sorts, I have to admit! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

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  3. Interesting article with amazing facts I know I would never have known if I didn't read Travelinwrite, I love it!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sue. I am waiting to read your blog. . . . ;-) one day soon!

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  4. When we were in Sorrento, the menu had Maine lobsters in it. Not super close to home, but when in Italy, something from the Northeast USA seemed funny!

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    1. It does take you back a bit, doesn't it, Amy. I guess I don't think that if humans can be transported across the sea then goods can also land in exotic ports as well. I would have been surprised at Maine lobsters in Sorrento!

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  5. How cool that Washington St apples travel so far....
    what an interesting life you two lead.

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    1. We do try to keep life interesting, BJ. And sometimes an apple a day will do just that!

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  6. Wonderfully informative. Even in India these apples are available.

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    1. Glad you found the post informative, Rajesh. Loved our time in India!

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  7. How cool to find Washington State apples around the world! I enjoyed reading the apple facts--I never knew I consumed so many apples ;) !

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    1. I am with you Pat, I might question how my amount of consumption feeds into those stats as I don't come near that number, but probably should!

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  8. Hello Jackie and Joel,
    What a lovely connection to home it must have been to discover your state's apples proudly displayed on the shores you visited. No doubt you get the freshest and best when you visit the local orchards.
    Helen xx

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    1. We do get great apples direct from the growers. I suspect it is much like all fruit - best when straight from the tree. Thanks much for your visit, Helen!

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  9. What a surprise to find exported apples from Washington State in the markets where you are. The apple facts were a good read, thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Jackie.

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    1. Apples were surprising finds -- at least the quantity and variety we found. Love Mosaic Monday, Judith!

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  10. The apple facts was educational. I am amazed at the varieties!

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    1. Thanks, Indrani, glad you found this post of interest. I loved seeking out our taste of home in such far-away places.

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  11. One of the things we crave and splurge on during our travels are apples. I love biting into a crisp and juicy apple and many times they can bring a feeling of "home" no matter where we are!

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