Fallbrook, CA: The State's Second "Capital"

Artichokes grow well in the soil around the towns that lie just south of San Francisco. The soils around Fallbrook, CA foster the growth of a different delicacy-avocado. The residents of Fallbrook always look forward to the annual Avocado Festival. That is when the eyes of all of California turn towards the city that lies just east of the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.
The farmers in and around Fallbrook, CA see their state as a place with two capitals. In addition to the State Capital at Sacramento, California possesses the "Avocado capital of the world." That "capital" stretches over 28 square miles, and it includes Fallbrook, CA.

Roughly one hundred years ago Fallbrook, CA was nothing more than a stagecoach stop on the route between Temecula and San Diego. Now in 2006 Fallbrook draws huge numbers of people to the city just east of Camp Pendleton. Now a patch of greater San Diego holds the farms and packing plants that become the focus of an annual, local festival.

Every year in mid-April the residents of Fallbrook, CA prepare for the Avocado Festival. The Festival has expanded greatly over the years. It now requires a number of different venues, all of which are connected by a free shuttle service.

The Avocado Festival offers activities for residents of all ages. Younger residents can participate in the avocado pit-spitting contest. They can also with other model car builders. Contestants seek to build a model car, while using an avocado as the starting point.

At Fallbrook, CA adult cooks compete for a number of different culinary awards. There is a prize for the best guacamole, the best salsa and the best fruit dish that uses only fruit grown in Fallbrook, CA. There is also a prize for the most creative avocado dish.

The Festival normally schedules two sets of competitions-one for professional cooks and one for amateur chefs. As the Fair guests wait-out the time between the two competitions, they can enjoy some truly gourmet food.

Booths at the Festival sell all sorts of avocado treats. They sell guacamole, avocado sandwiches and halved avocadoes that have been cooked on the grill. A visitor to the Fair is apt to find avocado wraps, avocado on pizza, avocado bread and even avocado added to a desert.

The creativity engendered by the Festival might one day give rise to a new set of Festival games. It is possible that the youth in Fallbrook, CA could eventually create a pit- spinning contest, or a pit-sinking contest. One contest would award a prize to the fastest-spinning avocado pit, and the other would give a prize to the fastest-sinking avocado pit.

Historians at the Festival would no doubt like to learn how the first avocado came to Fallbrook, CA. Were avocado plants always found in the area; or was there someone who carried an avocado along during a stagecoach journey. Maybe a stagecoach rider stepped off the wagon in Fallbrook and accidentally dropped an avocado seed into a shallow bowl of water. Perhaps it then sprouted and was later planted in some fertile Fallbrook soil.

There appears to be no record about the first Fallbrook avocado. Nor are there any available facts about the extent to which avocado are used in the local schools. There is regular and undisputed proof that the residents of Fallbrook, CA truly love avocados.

As more and more tourists visit the area's Avocado Festival, then ever-larger numbers of people develop a similar fondness for the soft fruit with the hard, dark, green and rough skin.
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