It will be here before you know it, of course, I'm talking about tourist season. Last year millions of folks traveled from all over the world and the United States to come here and have a "Montana Experience".

So what is the "Montana Experience"?

Well, for tourists and travelers it's a whole lot of gift shops, a few days in our National Parks, trying out fly-fishing, and living like a "Montanan". Oh, and of course, part of the "Montana Experience" is eating like a Montanan.

When it comes to food, we've certainly got it covered here in Big Sky Country. From five-star award-winning world-class cuisine to just good ole-down home Mom and Pop Diner food, Montana has you covered.

Game On

Big Game is a big part of a whole lot of Montanans' diet.  From Elk to Moose, heck, some folks even dine on Bear. (I'm told that Bear Ham is amazing). Of course, Bison is a Montana staple and is certainly something that most folks want to try when they visit. From Bison burgers to Bison steak you can't go wrong, heck, even Bison chili is amazing. So, when visiting Montana, plan on eating meat. Because here in Montana, meat is what's for dinner.

American Bison standing in Kansas prairie grassland, Maxwell Wildlife Preserve

 Berry, Berry Good

Here in Montana, we love Huckleberries. Huckleberry pie, Huckleberry candy, Huckleberry cheesecake, Huckleberry ice cream, and milkshakes.  We'll even eat plain Huckleberries. We have stories dedicated to that magical little fruit and no trip to Montana is complete without sampling something with Huckleberry in it. Personally, I had Huckleberry Bar B Q sauce one time and that was a game-changer. If you are ever given the chance to try it, I would highly recommend you do so.

Photo by Andrew Wolff on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Wolff on Unsplash

A Jubilee of Cherries

The first time I ever had Flathead Cherries I ate so many that I had a stomachache for a day. They are without a doubt, in my opinion, and the opinions of many Montanans the finest cherries on the planet. If there is a cherry out there that is better, I've never heard of it. Montanans of all ages wait for that special time of year, then either head to the Flathead Valley, Farmers Markets, or buy them from the many roadside vendors all across the state.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

The Other White Meat

We talked about all the different options meat lovers have here in Montana.  However, we didn't talk about a sandwich that's a Montana classic.  Of course, we're talking about the Porkchop sandwich.  The sandwich, which was made famous by "Pork Chop John" has been around Montana for darn near 100 years. Pork Chop John's is located in Butte, (by the way, Butte is also famous for another Montana culinary creation that we'll get to in a minute) The traditional Porkchop sandwich comes fried and you have a few options when it comes to toppings.

A Meal For A Miner

Butte is a hard-working, down-to-earth, good people type of town.  Of course, Butte's claim to fame is mining, and let's be honest, working in the mines is hard and a person tends to work up an appetite. So someone came up with the brilliant idea of the Pasty. Listen, I'm a fan.  I mean, what more could you want? Meat, potatoes, and all the fixings wrapped up in a delicious pastry crust. What's not to like, right?  The Pasty became a big deal back in the golden age of mining in Butte, in fact, according to The Taste Of Montana, miners were creative when it came to re-heating them.

"Miners used their shovels to reheat the pasties over the candles they wore on their heads. Some held it by its solid ridge specifically designed for grasping, once the inner parts were consumed, the ridge was tossed about with the intention of keeping the ghost of dead miners satisfied."

Photo by Scott Eckersley on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Eckersley on Unsplash

As you can see, Montana certainly has its own corner covered when it comes to culinary delights.  So, whether you were born and raised here, or you're just stopping by for a week or two on vacation, enjoy some good ole Montana cooking, and make sure to tip your servers.

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