Taste of Montana: Top 5 Must Try Montana Foods and Brands
I have always considered myself a Gastro-Tourist. That is defined as " foodies who want to go behind the scenes to taste local region-specific foods and to learn about unique ingredients." When I travel, I want to eat food that you can only find in that area. That is why I think it is important for EVERYONE to try all the iconic foods of your home state before you look elsewhere. Montana has a huge amount of iconic foods that you may not have sampled.
1) Pickle Barrel - This has, and will, always be one of my favorite sandwiches. For anyone who has never visited a pickle barrel, it is safe to say you haven't lived. My favorites include the Dragon Slayer and the Cheese Steak. Currently only available Bozeman, Livingston, and Billings.
2) Mackenzie River Pizza - This iconic pizza chain originated in Bozeman over 20 years ago. It quickly grew and now has locations in nearly every corner of Montana. For those that have never tried a "Mac River Pizza," I recommend you try the Thai Pie or the Flathead. Also, I have always been a big fan of their Willow Creek sandwich.
3) Wheat Montana - Wheat has always been a cash crop for Montana. It is literally one of our "homegrown" greats. Wheat Montana takes the iconic grain and transforms it into a masterpiece. A cinnamon roll, the size of your head. Move over Cinnabon, Wheat Montana is the "go-to spot" for an epic cinnamon roll.
4) Cream of the West - This takes me back to my childhood when my mom would offer me "Cowboy Cereal." It was always intriguing to me, because of the iconic cowboy on the box. I really felt like it was the only thing that cowboys ate before "rising the range." Roasted wheat served hot like a bowl of oatmeal, it is quintessential Montana.
5) Huckleberries - They are always one of my highlights to summer in Montana. Taking a drive up a scenic mountain road and picking enough huckleberries to munch on all year. For those who have never had a huckleberry, think of it as a blueberry that POPS. It is a little tarter than you would expect from a blueberry, but it is what makes the huckleberry so unique. You can find huckleberries in abundance all over western Montana in mid-august or just stop at your nearest gift shop for some jelly.