QualiTREE Exec Bonding: Apple Land Station
New year, new foodies executive team… With such a large exec team, we wanted to have a fun and unique way to get to bond, so we decided on going apple picking!
On October 20th, we all piled into our President Alexa’s car and headed out to Apple Land Station, located just outside of London. Jamming to throwbacks and newer songs alike, we were all excited to try some good apples and to eat some delicious apple pie!
October is usually a time when the temperature starts to drop and exams start to stress us out. But it’s also a time when the leaves turn into stunning shades of yellow, orange, and red, announcing the start of the golden season of autumn.
Stepping outside the Western bubble, our Foodies fam definitely did not blend in with all the families with small children at Apple Land (but that didn’t stop us from immediately trying all the activities designed for these elementary school kids). We were also incredibly lucky to have the most beautiful Sunday weather you could ever imagine.
We (barely) made it out of the corn maze, saw some adorable lambs and horses, ran to the pumpkin patch for an impromptu photoshoot, and explored all the different types of apples that Apple Land had to offer.
We wandered among the perfect rows of apple trees in search of the best apples to take home with us. We tried them all: Mutsu/Crispin, Gala, Empire, Ambrosia, Fuji, Red Delicious, Cortland, and probably countless more that we couldn’t keep track of.
We tried to make a definitive ranking of the apples we tried from best to worst but we could only agree that Mutsu apples were the best and that Red Delicious apples should not be allowed to exist.
With our bag full of freshly picked apples, we hopped on to the iconic “Apple Land Express” and let it take us to our last (but most anticipated) stop: The Apple Land Store. Its shelves were lined with steaming hot apple pies, apple-themed merchandise, and more!
“It’s so satisfying to hold hot pies in our hands.” I said.
“It’s gonna be even more satisfying eating it.” said Liz. And she was absolutely right. Five of us quickly tore into the apple pie, savouring every single mouthful of the crispy layer, the soft apple slices, and the sweet and warm taste of cinnamon. We devoured an entire pie in under 5 minutes. Eating the apple pie was definitely a highlight of our journey to Apple Land.
Here are some Q&As with our other exec team members who attended this event:
1. What’s your favourite memory of the event?
Alexa: Devouring the pie without even cutting it.
Raluca: Debating over our apple rankings and realizing that I don't actually hate (most) apples.
Elizabeth: Eating the pie together at the end.
Adrian: Hanging out in the corn maze and destroying the apple pie at the end.
2. Which is your favourite & least favourite apple? Why?
Alexa: Best: Mutsu - it was perfectly tart, sweet and crisp. Worst: Red delicious - despite its name, it tastes like water.
Raluca: Best: Mutsu - it is juicy, sweet, and sharp? The perfect apple hands down. Worst: Red Delicious - I dislike the texture and it just doesn't taste good.
Elizabeth: Best: Mutsu - it’s a combo of perfect texture and perfect sweetness. Worst: Red Delicious - the skin is too thick and the apple is very grainy.
Adrian: Best: Mutsu/Crispin - it was packed full of flavor and had a great crisp to it. Worst: Red Delicious - super mealy and not an apple I can see myself having a future with.
3. Recommend another way of eating apples?
Alexa: Cut it into slices and add some cinnamon sugar.
Raluca: Apple pie!
Elizabeth: Apple cider.
Adrian: Apple crisp. It’s easy to do and make and the ingredients are typically in everyone's pantry already!
4. How would you rate/describe your overall experience of our first exec team bonding?Alexa: 10/10 - so much fun and a great break from midterms!
Raluca: 10/10 - It was a really underrated social and a great way to get to know people. I had so much fun even though we were the only group who weren't families with small children.
Elizabeth: 10/10, such a fun place and I would love to go again. Many spots for cute pictures and overall a great place to make good memories.
Adrian: 10/10, apple land is a staple destination for many Londoners and for good reason! They got so much going on, the apples are great, and the bakery is on point. It was awesome to get to know the other execs better and hang out with people who like food just as much if not even more than myself.
With our camera rolls and stomachs full, we headed home after a super successful first exec social! As October comes to an end, Western Foodies wishes you the best remaining fall weather, great food, and most of all, lovely people.