Day 266 – North Cascades Loop, September 8, 2011
After tooling around the Town of Winthrop, which looked like
it had been preserved since the late 1800s, though the old-fashioned facades
were erected in 1972, we turned south to Cashmere to complete a loop drive.
Cashmere is home to Aplets and Cotlets, a candy factory that
provides tours of the facility. The
company was founded in 1920 by two Armenian immigrants who bought an apple
orchard and together with their candy recipes from home created Aplets. Later, they expanded to include a variety of
fruit and nut confections.
I’m not the biggest fan of fruit candy, but I did enjoy the
short factory tour. We started in the
kitchen where they ran four enormous double boilers to cook the
ingredients. The mixture is poured onto
long, metal trays, the flavor is marked, and it is allowed to cool to room
temperature for two hours before it is moved to the freezer for almost a day.
The candy slab is then covered with cornstarch and sent
through the cutter. The slab is cut into
approximately 7,200 pieces of candy that fall into a tumbler which shakes off
the cornstarch and adds powdered sugar.
The factory line workers then place the candies into the
plastic trays. They sort over 10,000
candies per hour. The trays of candy
flow along the conveyor belt to packagers who fill the boxes which are then
sealed and inspected for tight packaging.
There are other factory lines that produce chocolate products, but they
weren’t on display. It was fun to watch
for a few minutes anyway.
The candy factory turned out to be our only stop for the day. We spent the rest of the day traveling and
ended the evening in Yakima. We plan on
visiting Mount Rainier National Park tomorrow.