Ingredient of the Week: The Lesser-Known Berry

Huckleberries. via oregonlive.com

Huckleberries. via oregonlive.com

Since I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with my family last week, I was too busy hiking and soaking up the fresh mountain air to post an ingredient of the week. However, I was definitely inspired by the food I ate there for my featured ingredient this week, which is the fantastic little fruit called the huckleberry. I’d never noticed the huckleberry until my visit to Jackson, and boy, did I see that word EVERYWHERE. While the popular elk and bison could’ve been great ingredients to write about, I couldn’t help but ignore the surprising presence of huckleberry in this beautiful western town. The huckleberry was used in so many menus, ranging from restaurants to coffee shops, that I couldn’t stop myself from calling it out every time I spotted it being used. The fact that I’d never seen this ingredient used anywhere but Jackson blew my mind and even made me think twice about how much I’d really explored my country. When I got home from my trip, I was dying to find out why the huckleberry was so widely used in Wyoming and immediately did what most millennials like myself do best, reference Wikipedia. After backing up my new knowledge from a few more reputable websites, the locals’ obsession with huckleberries quickly started to make sense. I discovered that the huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho, which I was told numerous times while out west, is only a mountainside away from Jackson. After learning this, I gained a new appreciation for the numerous huckleberry lattes that I consumed that past week and especially grateful that I didn’t ask why there were so many huckleberry-flavored goodies in town.

Everything that I tasted with a huckleberry addition was quite satisfying and reminded me of the familiarly sweet blueberry. Some examples of what I found in Jackson include:

Huckleberry Lemonade from Dust Cutter Beverage Co., seen in Cowboy Coffee Co.

Wild Huckleberry Ice Cream at Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream

Huckleberry Margaritas at Signal Mountain Lodge

Huckleberry Latte from Cowboy Coffee Co.

Seared buffalo medallions with huckleberry demi-glace from Local

YUM.

If you’re interested in getting a taste of this sweet ingredient yourself, check out some recipes I found below that sound absolutely delicious!

Huckleberry Pulled Pork – from Culinary Concotions by Peabody

hbbqpork4

Huckleberry Cream Cheese Mini Pies – from Haley’s Daily Blog

huckleberry2gawkwatermark

Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake – from 101 Cookbooks

coffee_cake_recipe

*note: I’ve learned that huckleberries are very hard to find outside of the northwest, so try to substitute them with blueberries if you can’t get your hands on any!

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