As the leaves change and colder weather begins to settle in, some of Idaho’s top crops – apples and potatoes -come into season. It is no surprise that Idaho is top in potato production, but did you know apples are Idaho’s leading fruit crop? Each year, Idaho produces over 60 million pounds of apples and over 100 million pounds of potatoes!
More than half of the potatoes grown in Idaho are made into French fries, hash browns and other specialty items. In fact, J.R. Simplot Co. was the founder of the French fry in the 1940’s and today remains one of the leading producers of this world-wide favorite. Like most of the crops in Idaho, the potato thrives on our warm days and cool nights – producing the perfect potato! Idaho potatoes can be found in the grocery store year around. Russet potatoes are the most well-known, however, there are over 20 different potato varieties. Idaho potatoes can be found across the United States and across the world! And it is a good thing that we export most of our potatoes, because if Idaho kept all potatoes grown within the state, each Idahoan would have to eat 49 potatoes every day! Try this delicious potato casserole for your next family get-together.
Wada Farms in Pingree has made baking a potato simple! Their microwave ready easy bakers are pre-wrapped and ready within 6-8 minutes! Look for these baked potatoes made easy at Wal-Mart and other retail stores.
Idaho Apples come in many different colors, textures and flavors – this is because Idaho grows nine different varieties of apples! Apples are harvested carefully by hand to avoid bruising. Picked and packed daily, they are fresh and crispy when they arrive at local grocery stores in the fall. Apples have no sodium or fat and are high in nutrients and fiber making them the perfect healthy snack.
Idaho has a few U-pick locations where you can go pick apples for yourself or make it a fun family day trip. When picking an apple, look for bright firm texture and tight skin, avoiding apples that are soft, bruised or have dark spots. Apples are great fresh off the tree or baked into a warm pie. Try our apple pie recipe with some local ice cream to top it off.