Tuesday, April 29, 2008

 

Aplets and Cotlets

Today we visited the town of Cashmere, WA and the Liberty Orchards Aplets & Cotlets factory. These are candies that were developed in the 1920s by two Armenian immigrants to the town of Cashmere, near Wenatchee. They took a candy recipe they brought with them from their home country and added a couple of things, like apple fruit and walnuts. They called the product Aplets and started selling it. A couple of years later they added a similar candy based on apricots, calling it Cotlets. The company has continued to this day, still family owned. They employ 40 people year round and expand to about 200 during the peak season.

Cashmere is located on US-2 between Leavenworth and Wenatchee. We drove there today, about 15 miles from Leavenworth, to tour the factory.
Aplets 01
Here is a street scene in the downtown area of Cashmere and just a couple of blocks from the factory.

Aplets 02
This sign is on the side of the building beside the parking lot they maintain for visitors. It is an easy place to get to and plenty of parking.

Aplets 03
Everyone who enters the factory has to wear these net hats (not in the store.) This room is the cooking area and shows the four pots there. Each makes about 240 pounds of the candy at a time. The young lady in the red apron was our tour guide and also works in the store. There is a large mixer that operates continuously while the cooking is going on.

Aplets 04
This is a long time employee who is pouring the candy from the cooking pot into trays where it will be refrigerated for ten hours to cool and solidify. The trays are on a scale so the weight of each will be the same.

Aplets 05
When the candy comes out of the fridge, it is coated with corn starch and powdered sugar in this first machine, then it is cut into bite sized pieces. I don't remember exactly how many pieces are cut from each of the 22 pound trays but it is a lot.

Aplets 06
This view shows the rest of this main room where most of the finishing of the candy is done. Our tour guide is also shown. There were two working in the store counting our guide and I'd say we saw probably about another dozen at work but that didn't include any of those in the warehouse or shipping department.

Aplets 07
Each box is hand checked for actual weight and count of pieces. These ladies are finishing up that process, just before the machine in the foreground seals the package inside it's shrink wrap. When we were there they were being packed into a very large packing carton on a wood pallet, so it was to be part of a really big shipment.

Aplets 08
Here is our tour guide without her hair net and at the cash register in the store.

Aplets 09
Pat and our tour guide are ringing up our purchases. We went there not expecting to spend a lot and we really didn't buy a lot of candy, but we did buy other things for gifts for our kids, etc. About $80 worth.

Aplets 10
This shows a good part of the store. They have quite a few things other than their own candies. If you ever are in the area, I would suggest a visit to this place. It is fun and you do learn about a different product. And, they have free samples of the candy in the store.

Ask at your local store to see if they carry or can get Aplets & Cotlets. If not, they are probably available online direct from Liberty Orchards. The originals are based on apples and apricots but they also have similar candies based on many other fruits, including tropical ones. And there are sugar free candies, too.

Our plan is to leave here tomorrow and drive to the Wenatchee area and will probably stay in Lincoln Rock State Park, just 5 miles or so north of East Wenatchee. I don't know Wenatchee very well but am sure that we can find a lot of things to see and do there. And it is only about an hour or less away from where we are now.

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Comments:
I'd love doing little tours like that, it'd be so interesting!
 
Great photos on this trip...very fun for me to see places we have been, though we never did make it to the factory there. Leavenworth is a great place and we always had good times there!!
Elizabeth
 
Well that does it...I'm getting a lap top!! I stayed at the Icicle Inn Sunday night & Monday night. That is where we have the ADA Issues & Answers workshop every year! We ate Sunday dinner at Christa's and lunch on Monday at Gustav's, Monday night we ate at Katzenjammers (No Prime Rib, they didn't get their shipment)!! Tuesday afternoon we shopped at the Leather Shop & of course the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a caramel apple. Our paths keep crossing. If I had a laptop, I would've checked my emails and blog and known you were a few blocks from me and we could've met for Latte's!! HAHAHAHA
 
I like aplets, not so much cotlets.

I once toured the Jelly Belly factory. It was ice blue mint flavor day. The scent of mint and sugar was so heavy it was nauseating. That was 16 years ago and I still won't eat a Jelly Belly.

I have also toured a Hershey's chocolate factory. They tell me it's closed now. That tour was much nicer. The air was filtered better and everything was viewed through glass.
 
Hey!! So great to see you out traveling again... =) The weather sounds great for you both, not too hot (as Pat doesn't like it) and not cool, as the rest of the world doesn't like the cold! The factory tour looks great, I too, did the above mentioned Jelly Belly Factor Tour (very neat!) and like touring the factories where it's all made. Continue having a great time and we'll see ya when you get home!
 
That was interesting. I have been eating Aplets and Cotlets for years but never thought about where they are made. I grew up in Camas, Washington but know so little about Washington as it seems we generally went to Oregon even then for recreation; so this has been interesting to see what you are seeing.
 
Hi Dick. , "On the road again"now that looks a lovely peaceful place 'to set up the Rv,
Never heard of those sweets over here but sound so yummy Specially when I have a sweet tooth.. Enjoy the rest of your holiday...
 
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