Guest blog by Erica Trey
Welcome to a little taste of Montana! I am excited to tell you about some of the famous food from my state!
Montana is the 4th largest state in the United States. It is home to sprawling grasslands, where the cattle roam free. As well as rugged mountain peaks, where you can spot a cougar or mountain goats. Montana is often known as “Big Sky Country.” It truly does feel like the gorgeous blue sky stretches on forever.
In addition to all the cattle ranches, Montana is an ideal state for deer and elk hunting. The season lasts from September - November. This provides an affordable opportunity for many Montanans to get some meat in the freezer for the year. An easy go-to, and family favorite, are always the elk burgers. Prepared with your favorite seasonings, elk burgers provide more protein and less fat than typical beef burgers. And they are just as good with cheese as they are without!
Montana's economy is primarily fueled by agriculture. Though ranching plays a large part, farming of various grains is also one of the biggest uses of the wide-open space in Montana. Near Manhattan, Montana, farmers grow potatoes in such abundance that they even host an annual potato festival. The annual Manhattan Potato Festival features a fireman's breakfast, a 5k race, a parade, and loads of potato vendors! Walking the rows of vendors, you can find anything from perfectly buttered and seasoned Hasselback Potatoes, to loaded baked potatoes, and freshly fried and salted potato spirals.
All of Montana’s beautiful mountain ranges provide an ideal climate for huckleberries to grow! If you ask a local where to find huckleberries, they will tell you that they can be found all around. But they say, “Mums the word,” as these treasured patches of huckleberry gems are a bit of a “locals secret.” Huckleberries grow among many of the hiking trails sprawled throughout the mountains. Though you do want to make sure you know how to identify them before going out picking. Many other berries, both edible and not, will also be sprawled across these mountainsides. The abundance of berries also making this prime bear country!
Used much like a sweet wild blueberry, huckleberries are turned into syrups and jams or made into pies. They are also seen adorning ice cream. A delectable favorite is huckleberry cheesecake! As this dessert melts in your mouth, you will find huckleberry cheesecake perfectly smooth and creamy. It has a distinct “pop” and burst of flavor from the delicate huckleberries.
Some people make the filling itself huckleberry flavored. But to get the true flavor and huckleberry experience you want to keep the berries as more of a topping. This allows you to truly savor their unique flavor as a compliment rather than a blend of flavors. Huckleberry cheesecake is a perfect weekend treat. It is even more delicious the next day!
Famous Food from Montana Menu
Montana State Facts
- Montana is the 41st state in the US
- With a rich mineral preserve, Montana became known for discovering gold and silver, thus giving it the nickname "The Treasure State"
- There are more species of mammals in Montana than in any other US state
- Montana is home to the famous Glacier National Park and multiple entrances and sections of Yellowstone National Park
- Famous people from Montana include: Jeannette Rankin, Evel Knievel, and Dana Carvey
About the Author
Born and raised in Montana, Erica Trey grew up exploring the mountains where she loves to ski and hike. As a mother, she loves to take her own kids out exploring and huckleberry picking! See more of her work, and this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe, on her blog, Mountainberry Eats.
Connect with her on Instagram @mountainberry_eats.
Hasselbackspotatoes is actually a Swedish dish, named after restaurant Hasselbacken in Stockholm. The dish was created by Leif Eliasson in 1953.
Thank you for the interesting history of Hasselback potatoes!