Travels in Sinshih
Groves of white wax apple trees
When asked, “what is the most unique industry of Sinshih District?” the answer is al- ways going to be the white wax apples. White wax apples have an emerald green col- oration, a crunchy texture, and a sweet taste with a slightly sour and bitter undertone melded into a unique and indescribable flavor. White wax apples are only grown and available in Sinshih. The wax apples of Sinshih can be divided into the white and emer- ald green varieties. Both are known as the white wax apples of Sinshih. Most of the white and emerald green wax apples are found in the Singang She community (currently Shenei and Sinhe villages). A few of these white wax apple trees are found in other vil- lages and settlements. Sinshih has a saying: "Tou Zao Tian Zao Wu, Hei Ciu Ci Shui
Niu, Shunsu Ti Cie Chu, Houzai Jian Lian Wu" (morning is foggy, with black birds rid- ing the water buffalo. We first harvest the eggplants and sweet potatoes, and then head to the courtyard to pick the wax apples). When Emperor Jiacing surveyed Taiwan, he gave great praises to the local fruits and produce, awarding them with various titles. It was during this occasion that Sinshih's wax apples were granted the accolade as the King of Fruits. The two most famous fruits of the Pingpu people at the time were the Sinshih wax apples and Wundan pomelos of Madou. As local community transformed and developed, the local residents began clearing away the orchards. Soil acidification as well as spread of diseases and pests resulted in the dwindling number of the unique Sinshih white wax apples, almost ceasing to exist in the 1960s. In 2002, the District Of- fice commissioned a group of historical and cultural workers who are passionate about their hometown to search for any remaining white wax apple. At that time, only 90 of these trees were left throughout the entire district. Outdoor education and tours for visi- tors who wish to experience the rustic aspect of the district first hand were organised. A white wax apple festival and cultural event would be held at every harvest season from May to July. Great efforts have been invested to revive the emerald green and pale jade Shinshih white wax apples. The event inspires love and care for these few remaining trees and orchards. It is hoped that these efforts will provide energy to the old trees, support their continued existence and continue their mission in empowering Sinshih's industrial and cultural development.