The Apple Pie Circuit
When you’re trekking the strenuous Annapurna Circuit you’ll find that filling up on carbohydrates is pretty much de rigueur. All the exercise that you’re getting on the trek provides a great excuse for filling up en-route and it may surprise you to find that, in the foothills of the Himalaya, fried apple pie is a popular treat amongst hikers.
The Kagbeni-to-Marpha section of the Annapurna Circuit is particularly renowned for its excellent baking and every teahouse here offers their own home-made apple pie. Once you reach Marpha, the pies are considered to be the very best in Nepal. With fritters, crumbles and momos featuring on the menu of every teahouse in town, it’s clear that this is a town that loves its apples. So much so that some backpackers admit to choosing their teahouse strictly based on how good the home-made pie is!
However, it isn’t just sweet deserts that the locals make with the juicy apples of the Himalaya. The town of Marpha is also home to an old distillery selling apple brandy. A bottle of this liquor will set you back just 70 rupees, but if you like your alcohol strong prepare to be disappointed, although the liquor has a strong herby taste the alcohol content itself is pretty low. Fresh apple juice costs the same in rupees per bottle and is slightly more refreshing to drink whilst you continue walking the Annapurna Circuit.
There is another reason that the Annapurna Circuit is known as the Apple Pie Circuit and that’s because, whilst it is generally a strenuous trek, some of the more enjoyable parts are, as the old slogan goes, “as easy as apple pie”.